January 4, 2007
Belarus said it would slap a customs duty of $45 per metric ton on Russian oil pumped across its territory to other nations in Europe. The action came after Belarus averted a Jan. 1 cutoff of Russian natural-gas supplies by grudgingly agreeing to pay twice the previous price this year and more in the future. Belarus' new duty appeared aimed at prompting Russia to scrap new customs fees this year on oil exports to its neighbor.
January 1, 2007 |
Russia and Belarus announced a last-minute deal on natural gas prices early today, averting the threat of a midwinter disruption of supplies to European customers. Russia's state-controlled gas monopoly, Gazprom, had threatened to cut off the flow of gas for Belarus at 10 a.m. today unless a new contract was signed, although the company said it would still supply other European customers by shipping gas across Belarus through pipelines it owns.
December 30, 2006 |
Belarus President Alexander G. Lukashenko said he would not tolerate Russian blackmail, as talks started in Moscow on a natural gas dispute. The European Commission and Germany have urged Russia and Belarus to settle their differences quickly. A similar dispute between Russia and Ukraine in January disrupted supplies to European consumers. Russian state-owned oil company Gazprom is seeking a share of Belarus' pipelines and higher gas prices.
December 28, 2006 |
Russia and Belarus traded bitter words Wednesday in a dispute over natural gas prices that threatened to damage relations between the longtime allies and disrupt supplies to other European countries.
November 24, 2006 |
Belarusian police detained opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich on Thursday during a visit to a province where he was gathering signatures in support of candidates for local elections, his spokesman said. Milinkevich, who ran against authoritarian President Alexander G. Lukashenko in March and led unprecedented protests afterward, was detained by police near Vitebsk, northeast of the capital, Minsk, spokesman Pavel Mazheika said.
July 17, 2006 |
Police in Belarus detained about 30 people who staged a demonstration outside the Russian Embassy to demand that the Kremlin stop backing hard-line President Alexander G. Lukashenko. The protest occurred three days after opposition leader Alexander Kozulin was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison in connection with demonstrations against the reelection of Lukashenko, who has been in power 12 years.
July 14, 2006 |
A Belarusian opposition leader who challenged President Alexander G. Lukashenko's bid to win a third term and helped stage protests against his landslide victory was jailed for 5 1/2 years. Alexander Kozulin, 51, was convicted of hooliganism and incitement to mass disorder. "Such a sentence is utter blasphemy," the defendant's wife, Irina Kozulina, said. He was one of two opposition candidates who ran against Lukashenko, whom the West accused of rigging the election.
April 28, 2006 |
A court sentenced the main Belarus opposition leader to 15 days in prison for leading a rally that police said was unlawful. The European Union, which said President Alexander Lukashenko's landslide reelection last month was blatantly rigged, demanded Alexander Milinkevich's immediate release. Milinkevich denied any a crime. "This is a political action, a political sentence," he told the court in Minsk, the capital.
April 9, 2006 |
President Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in for a third term Saturday and blamed the West for fomenting protests that the vote was fraudulent and undemocratic. Several thousand officials and lawmakers gave a standing ovation to a somber-looking Lukashenko, who took his oath at a ceremony in the huge concrete Palace of the Republic. Lukashenko has faced international condemnation over the March 19 election, which he won with 83% of the vote, according to official results.
April 1, 2006 |
Scores of people detained during protests were released, many reporting they had been beaten and gassed by police. Belarusian police seized hundreds of opposition supporters a week ago in raids on a tent camp in Minsk, the capital. The camp had been the scene of daily rallies denouncing the March 19 reelection of President Alexander Lukashenko as fraudulent.