Meeting with UK Ambassador Fionna Gibb

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

7 August 2019

The UK ambassador has made a big contribution to the development of relations with Belarus, President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with outgoing Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Fionna Gibb on 7 August.
According to the head of state, he does not meet with all outgoing ambassadors. “You have done more than anybody else during your stay and service in Belarus. More than all UK ambassadors. Therefore, I am very grateful to you,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “This is your achievement. I think so, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shares this opinion. Thanks to your energy, determination, openness, honesty and justice you have been always calling for (and it is equally important for us), you have achieved all that.”
The President remarked that $3.5 billion worth of bilateral trade is a foundation of any relations. “The UK is Belarus’ third largest trade partner after Russia and Ukraine,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“There are some issues, and you know it. Our export and trade largely depend on the supply of oil products. Our trade turnover has shrunk a bit after the situation arising from the pollution of oil in the Druzhba pipeline. Therefore, we need diversification,” the head of state added.
At the meeting Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized the importance of further efforts to bolster and intensify Belarus-UK cooperation.
The President thanked the UK side for cooperation in the humanitarian field, helping children from Chernobyl-affected regions. You have helped and still help our children after Chernobyl. With recuperation and rehabilitation. They visit your country. We appreciate your help and support,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.
He also spoke about the participation of UK athletes in the 2ndEuropean Games. “You team performed very well here,” he said. Aleksandr Lukashenko asked Fionna Gibb to convey the best wishes to President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Sebastian Coe. “He will be pleased that we remember him in Belarus. And we hope that he will attend the Match Europe v USA Minsk 2019 on 9-10 September. Thanks to him our people will see this sports event,” the head of state said.
“This is the spectrum of our relations. We just need to develop these relations. We can find new areas for cooperation. And we should not lose time. I think that the new prime minister, the new government [in the United Kingdom] will step up these relations. Perhaps, one day in the future you will come to Belarus (you can come any time without any visas, you are close person for us), and we will discuss our new restored relations. The period of your service as ambassador in Belarus will be the foundation of these relations. Thank you for everything, I wish you every success,” Aleksandr Lukashenko concluded.
Fionna Gibb, in turn, thanked the Belarusian head of state for kind words, especially about her contribution to the development of Belarus-UK relations. “I truly believe that the relations between the two countries have improved within three and a half years,” she said.

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Ambassador of Belarus I.Leshchenyа meets the Chairman of the National Council of Slovakia

Source: Republic of Belarus Ministry of Foreign Affairs in English

07-08-2019
On August 6, 2019 the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the Slovak Republic, Igor Leshchenya, met with the Chairman of the National council (Parliament) of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Danko.

During the meeting, the Ambassador I.Leshchenya informed the interlocutor about the dynamics of development of relations between Belarus and Slovakia, as well as European partners, about the growing role of our country in discussing relevant issues of the European and international agenda.
The sides discussed topical issues of the implementation of the agreements reached in the course of the visit on June 3-4, 2019 in Minsk of the Slovak Parliament speaker, both in the context of enhancing trade and economic ties, as well as in the framework of inter-parliamentary cooperation with emphasis on the forthcoming visit to Belarus of the friendship group with the Republic of Belarus of the National Council of the Slovak Republic.
русская версия   беларуская версія

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О встрече Посла Беларуси И.Лещени с Председателем Национального совета Словакии

Source: Belarus Ministry of Foreign Affairs

07-08-2019
6 августа 2019 г. состоялась встреча Чрезвычайного и Полномочного Посла Республики Беларусь в Словацкой Республике Игоря Лещени с Председателем Национального совета (Парламента) Словацкой Республики Андреем Данко.

В рамках встречи Посол И.Лещеня проинформировал собеседника о динамике развития отношений Беларуси со Словакией, а также другими европейскими партнерами, о возрастании роли нашей страны в обсуждении актуальных вопросов европейской и международной повестки дня.
Состоялся обмен мнениями о реализации договоренностей, достигнутых в ходе визита 3-4 июня 2019 г. в Минск спикера словацкого Парламента как в контексте активизации двусторонних торгово-экономических связей, так и в рамках межпарламентского сотрудничества с акцентом на предстоящий визит в нашу страну группы дружбы с Республикой Беларусь Национального совета Словацкой Республики.

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On August 14 the refinancing rate will amount to 9.5% per annum (Press release)

Source: National Bank of the Republic of Belarus in English

On August 14, 2019, the refinancing rate will be reduced from 10% to 9.5% per annum and the rate on overnight credit – from 11.5% to 10.75% per annum and that on overnight deposit – from 8.5% to 8.25% per annum.
The corresponding decisions were taken by the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus following the results of the meeting on monetary policy held on August 7, 2019.
In 2019 Q2, the intensity of inflationary processes slowed down. The assessment of consumer price growth, excluding seasonality for 2019 Q2, shows its decrease below the target level being 5% (during the previous three quarters, the growth was higher than this indicator).
The decisions taken in the field of interest rate policy ensure that it remains neutral in the context of the forecasted deceleration in inflation processes and the achievement of the inflation target for 2019.
The reduction in overnight credit and overnight deposit rates will narrow the interest rate collar on instruments designed to regulate banks’ liquidity and will increase the efficiency of the monetary policy transmission mechanism.
Further decisions in the field of the National Bank’s key interest rates will depend on the correlation between inflationary and deflationary factors.
The next meeting on monetary policy of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus is planned for November 6, 2019.

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On August 1, 2019, gold and foreign exchange reserves of the Republic of Belarus totaled USD8.6 billion (Press release)

Source: National Bank of the Republic of Belarus in English

As of August 1, 2019, the volume of international reserve assets of the Republic of Belarus according to the preliminary data accounted for USD8,627.9 million in the equivalent.
In July 2019, gold and foreign exchange reserves increased by USD337.1 million (by 4.1%) after a growth in June 2019 by USD200.8 million (by 2.5%).
In July 2019, the Government and the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus fulfilled external and internal foreign exchange obligations worth about USD500 million.
The purchase of foreign exchange by the National Bank at the JSC “Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange”, receipt of funds in foreign exchange to the budget, including export duties on oil and oil products, as well as proceeds from the sale of bonds denominated in foreign exchange by the Ministry of Finance, were conductive to the growth of the level of gold and foreign exchange reserves in July.
According to Monetary Policy Guidelines for 2019, the volume of international reserve assets as of January 1, 2020 should be at least USD7.1 billion.

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Meeting with former president of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

6 August 2019

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with his friend and colleague – the former president of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev on 6 August.
The meeting was prompted by Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s 70thbirthday, which he marked several days ago. In the Palace of Independence Aleksandr Lukashenko congratulated Kurmanbek Bakiyev and presented symbolic gifts. The picture Nomads Hunt With a Golden Eagle combines national peculiarities and ethnic zest of the Kyrgyz people. The golden eagle is a special symbol in the world view of the nomads. Kurmanbek Bakiyev was also gifted a dirk and a bouquet of Belarusian flowers.
“This is my country… Horses, golden eagles…” Kurmanbek Bakiyev said as he saw the picture.
“Your country and your environment. This proud bird looks like you,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.
Kurmanbek Bakiyev thanked Aleksandr Lukashenko for the gifts.
Aleksandr Lukashenko went on saying: “All of us will come to your place for the birthday party. Can you cook Kyrgyz pilaf for us? Bring pilaf. We will bring wine.”
Kurmanbek Bakiyev responded by saying he would be pleased to receive the guests and would personally cook the food. “I will cook everything,” he stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko and Kurmanbek Bakiyev stood for some time outside the office of the Belarusian head of state near the state flags of Belarus and Kyrgyzstan. Instead of fabrics the flags were displayed using holograms. A special projector was presented by a company residing in Belarus’ Hi-Tech Park when Aleksandr Lukashenko visited the park. “It was made by our IT specialists. Today is the day of Belarusian-Kyrgyz friendship in honor of your jubilee,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
After the congratulatory part of the meeting Aleksandr Lukashenko and Kurmanbek Bakiyev spent some time talking about matters of current interest.

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Report on preparations for building national football stadium, international-level swimming pool in Minsk

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

6 August 2019

Preparations for building the national football stadium and an international-level swimming pool in Minsk were discussed at the meeting held by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 6 August. It is planned that these facilities will be erected using China’s gratuitous technical and economic aid.
The meeting focused on the draft decrees concerning the construction of the stadium and the swimming pool. “During my latest visit to China Xi Jinping demonstrated the architectural models of these facilities to all of us. I want to stress that the construction of such sports facilities in Minsk in cooperation with China is unprecedented and should be an example for other projects which will be implemented in the future,” the head of state said.
In his words, plans to build such sports facilities were made long ago. “Of course, it is expensive. Of course, it is not easy to find such money and I think that private companies will not embark on such projects. You know how we use budget money. Some time ago I asked Xi Jinping to help us build these facilities,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President added that the Belarusian side also approached other countries apart from China. “They did not have money or did not want to do it. The People’s Republic of China and its leader responded.”
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, it is very important to create all necessary conditions to build the swimming pool and the stadium in compliance with international standards as soon as possible.
“I asked to prepare draft decrees with this in focus. We will use gratuitous aid, so there should be no bureaucratic delays. They will build this facility. Of course, they will use our materials, our people will work there. There should not be any ambiguous standards from the Soviet times. I have already warned the minister, the prime minister that we need European standards. We can keep our standards if we know for sure that they are as good as international ones. We will erect these sports facilities in compliance with international standards,” the President said.
“The Chinese side is ready to launch the construction in H1 2020,” the Belarusian leader said addressing Deputy Head of the Belarus President Administration Nikolai Snopkov. “We must fulfill all agreements with the Chinese side.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko asked about the preparation of construction sites. “We must prepare the construction sites where the Chinese side will build these facilities. I know that there are certain problems with soils, especially in the area where the swimming pool will be built, some issues (we need to address them) regarding the location of the football stadium,” the head of state noted.
According to the President, it is inadmissible to cut too many trees. “I understand that there are many old trees and we need to replace them. If we cut 10-20 trees, we should plant trees in other places. The procedure has been determined,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President also expressed doubts that the National Olympic Training Center for Water Sports and the National Olympic Stadium Dinamo should be in charge of these construction projects. “I want to know why it is their responsibility. Maybe, ministers and other high-ranking executives just want to shift responsibility. Will the Dinamo Stadium cope with the task to monitor the construction of the national football stadium? Will the water sports center cope with the task to monitor the construction of the international-level swimming pool? Will they manage to ensure engineering, technical and legal monitoring at the highest level?” the Belarusian leader wondered.
The head of state said that the swimming pool and the stadium will be built by 2023. “It is round the corner. And today we must start thinking about hosting high-profile international sports competitions there. By the way, it will stimulate builders and all executives to finish the construction on time,” he said.
“We will build the stadium and the swimming pool. We need them,” the President stressed. “Our state needs such national facilities.”
In this context, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that football is a very popular sport in Belarus and worldwide. “We need a football stadium where the national team will compete, where our best football clubs will play, where international matches will be held,” the head of state believes.
“We also have a good swimming school. And we need good training conditions,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“I am going to discuss the prospects of our athletes in swimming and football with specialized ministers and representatives of sports organizations next time,” the head of state concluded.

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Оппозиция настаивает, что досрочное голосование надо ограничить, а голоса считать открыто и честно

Source: United Civil Party Belarus – in Belarusian

5 августа в офисе ОГП прошло заседание рабочей группы по подготовке изменений и дополнений в избирательное законодательство. Группа была создана ещё в конце сентября 2016-го года, в нее вошли представители всех заинтересованных демократических партий и движений.
На заседании было отмечено, что тема честных свободных выборов по-прежнему остается наиболее актуальной и перспективной частью политической повестки дня Беларуси. Собравшиеся констатировали, что проект закона «О внесении изменений и дополнений в ИК», подготовленный рабочей группой еще в 2017 году, в настоящее время, наконец, находится в головной Комиссии Палаты Представителей (причем с некоторыми изменениями, сделанными Анной Канопацкой).
По итогам дискуссии, прошедшей 5 августа 2019 года, было принято решение:1. Продолжить кампанию по адвокации проекта закона в том числе путем встреч региональных демократических активистов с нынешними “депутатами” ПП НС, ознакомлением “депутатов” с содержанием предложений и требованием поддержать этот законопроект.2. Подготовить проект Заявления с анализом ситуации в преддверии избирательной кампании в ПП НС 2019 года.3. Провести кампанию по информированию избирателей об актуальности свободных, честных выборов и о тех возможностях взаимодействия с политическими партиями, которые есть у избирателей.4. Организовать коммуникации (встречу) с руководством профильной комиссии ПП НС.
Напомним, что участниками демократической рабочей группы было принято решение сконцентрироваться на тех рекомендациях БДИПЧ ОБСЕ, которые ведут к реальным качественным изменениям избирательного законодательства и, как следствие, к возвращению избирателям права выбора.Это следующие предложения:
1. Формирование избирательных комиссий. Все участники избирательной кампании должны иметь право на включение их представителей во все избирательные комиссии.2. Досрочное голосование. Оно должно быть ограничено двумя днями, каждый, кто хочет проголосовать досрочно, должен документально подтвердить невозможность прийти на участок в основной день голосования.3. Прозрачный, открытый, доступный подсчет голосов. Бюллетени должны показываться всем наблюдателям и представителям СМИ, чтобы ни у кого не было сомнений, за кого отдан каждый голос.

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Parliamentary elections scheduled for November 17

Source: Viasna Belarus Human Rights Center in English

http://spring96.org/en/news/93616 2019 2019-08-06T11:16:44+0300 2019-08-06T11:16:44+0300 2019-08-06T11:16:45+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/jarmoshyna-galasavannie-svaboda.org.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Lidziya Yarmoshyna, head of the Central Election Commission. Photo: svaboda.org

President Aliaksandr Lukashenka has signed a decree to officially announce the elections to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly. The vote will take place on November 17, according to the presidential press-service.
The decree also set the date for the elections to the Council of the Republic, the upper chamber of the Belarusian bicameral parliament. The vote will be held on November 7.
The lower chamber consists of 110 deputies elected to four-year terms under a majoritarian system.
Earlier, President Lukashenka suggested that the elections be organized on November 7. Lidziya Yarmoshyna, head of the Central Election Commission, in turn, disagreed, saying that November 17 was the best option.
She also said that the presidential election would most likely be held on August 30, 2020.

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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus O.Kravchenko meets the honorary consuls of the Republic of Belarus in South Asia states

Source: Republic of Belarus Ministry of Foreign Affairs in English

05-08-2019 
On August 5, 2019, the honorary consuls of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh, the Republic of India, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka took part in the consultions with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Oleg Kravchenko.

During the consultations, the parties discussed promising areas of cooperation between Belarus and the mentioned South Asia states, pointed out the great potential for the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The parties reached the agreements on the importance of the implementation of a number of bilateral projects in the humanitarian fields, including education, cultural exchanges, tourism, etc.
The parties noted the importance of the institution of honorary consuls for enhancing ties of Belarus with countries and regions where diplomatic missions of our country currently are not presented.

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