End of large scale pre-registration on mainland Greece

MIL OSI – Source: European Union – Press Release/Statement

Headline: End of large scale pre-registration on mainland Greece

Joint Press Release: Greek Asylum Service, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), European Asylum Support Office (EASO)The Asylum Service announces that the operation to pre-register applications for international protection on mainland Greece, through the dedicated registration centres that were temporarily set up, has now come to an end. Those who have not been able to pre-register yet and wish to apply for asylum can do so, preferably by obtaining a registration appointment through Skype.  Given that the vast majority of those who wish to pre-register have done so by now, access to the Skype system should function more efficiently.Those who have been already pre-registered will receive soon a text message (SMS) with the date and location for their next appointment at the Asylum Service to lodge their asylum claim, including for family reunification or relocation. The pre-registration exercise, supported financially by the European Commission, was launched on 8 June 2016 by the Greek Asylum Service, and implemented with the help of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). Through this large-scale operation, thousands of persons were provided with asylum seeker cards, allowing them to reside legally in Greece and have the right to access health and education services. A detailed statistical report, based on the findings of the pre-registration exercise, will be released soon.More information about pre-registration:-          What’s next: after pre-registration-          Frequently Asked Questions & Answers about pre-registration-          Statistical data (up until 5 July 2016)

Joint statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities' agreement on key measures on the country’s EU path

MIL OSI – Source: European Union – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Joint statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities' agreement on key measures on the country’s EU path

The agreements reached this weekend in Bosnia and Herzegovina – on the coordination mechanism and on the decision to proceed with an IMF programme – are very welcome news. With them, the country’s leadership, at all levels, has further demonstrated its commitment to the EU integration path of the country, in line with their citizens’ expectations.
The coordination mechanism aims at improving the country’s policy coordination and implementation, including as regards EU financial assistance, as well as ensuring better interaction with the EU. The decision to proceed with an IMF programme will provide crucial support for the implementation of the Reform Agenda, a comprehensive set of socio-economic, rule of law and public administration reforms.
The meaningful implementation of the reform agenda and the coordination mechanism on EU matters – together with the adaptation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, an agreement on which was recently initialled – are key for progress on the country’s EU accession path.

Joint statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and

MIL OSI – Source: European Union – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Joint statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and

The agreements reached this weekend in Bosnia and Herzegovina – on the coordination mechanism and on the decision to proceed with an IMF programme – are very welcome news. With them, the country’s leadership, at all levels, has further demonstrated its commitment to the EU integration path of the country, in line with their citizens’ expectations.
The coordination mechanism aims at improving the country’s policy coordination and implementation, including as regards EU financial assistance, as well as ensuring better interaction with the EU. The decision to proceed with an IMF programme will provide crucial support for the implementation of the Reform Agenda, a comprehensive set of socio-economic, rule of law and public administration reforms.
The meaningful implementation of the reform agenda and the coordination mechanism on EU matters – together with the adaptation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, an agreement on which was recently initialled – are key for progress on the country’s EU accession path.

Joint Communication by HRVP Federica Mogherini, EU Commissioner Neven Mimica and AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail

MIL OSI – Source: European Union – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Joint Communication by HRVP Federica Mogherini, EU Commissioner Neven Mimica and AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail

We have signed today an agreement on €50 million support from the EU’s “African Peace Facility” to the Lake Chad Basin Commission Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in its fight against Boko Haram, as mandated by the African Union Peace and Security Council. This agreement comes at a time of renewed efforts by the member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin to eliminate the threat posed by the Boko Haram terrorist group and create conditions for the rehabilitation of the affected areas and people.
We commend the countries of the region for the progress made over the past months in ensuring a coordinated regional response through the MNJTF . The agreement we have signed today will further strengthen the regional coordination of the response.
Our support will allow for the construction and maintenance of MNJTF headquarters in Ndjamena as well as of sector Headquarters in Cameroon and Niger. We will also provide transport and communication assets to the force headquarters, allowing for effective coordination and command of military operations. These assets, including vehicles, aerial transportation and reconnaissance capacities and a command, control, communication and information system, will put the central command in a position to co-ordinate operations among troop contributing countries in their respective territories. The scope is to prevent Boko Haram’s ability to move across borders when fighting uncoordinated bilateral operations.
We reiterate our strong mutual engagement to contribute to restore a safe and secure environment to the civilian population in the areas affected by Boko Haram and other terrorist groups. Boko Haram attacks against the population have severely affected the North-east of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. More than 13,000 have been killed, 2.5 million people have been internally displaced, and an estimated 250 000 people fled to neighboring countries. The escalation of violence has disrupted regional agricultural production and unsettled local markets, causing increasing malnutrition.

Gutes Klima für Hamburgs Forschung

MIL OSI – Source: Koerber Stiftung – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Gutes Klima für Hamburgs Forschung

Meldung vom Montag, 1. August 2016

»KLIMA – DER SCHÜLERKONGRESS« so der Titel des Kongresses am 19. Juli 2016 in der Technischen Universität Hamburg. Die Initiative NAT kooperierte für diese Tagung mit dem Exzellenzcluster Integrierte Klimasystem-Analyse und Vorhersage (CliSAP) , dem Centrum für Erdsystemforschung und Nachhaltigkeit (CEN) und der Universität Hamburg. Mitwirkende bei der Programmplanung des Kongresses waren außerdem das MPI für Meteorologie, das Deutsche Klimarechenzentrum, das Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, die Hochbahn, Stromnetz Hamburg und TÜV Nord. Mehr als 20 Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler kamen an die TUHH und trugen unter anderem zu den Themen Meteorologie, Geologie, Geographie, Meereskunde, Klimarechenzentrum, Wasserbau, Maschinenbau, Plasmaphysik und Mathematik vor. Der Kongress richtete sich in erster Linie an Schülerinnen und Schüler der MINT-Profile.
Weitere Informationen

Meeting with Minister for North Caucasus Affairs Lev Kuznetsov

MIL OSI – Source: President of Russia – The Kremlin – English – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Meeting with Minister for North Caucasus Affairs Lev Kuznetsov

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Kuznetsov, we will discuss the Ministry’s work, of course, but let us start with the situation on the ground
in the North Caucasus region itself. Minister for North Caucasus Affairs Lev Kuznetsov Kuznetsov LevMinister for North Caucasus Affairs : Thank you, Mr President. In general,
you are aware of the situation in each region, as the regional heads brief you
on what is happening, but I will give you an overall picture of the state of affairs.The state programme for developing
the North Caucasus Federal District is our main instrument for implementing our
overall policy in the region. Of course, this is not the only instrument at our
disposal and we have been making active use of sector-based development
instruments, but this programme is nonetheless the foundation. The programme’s first stage, which
is due for completion this year, has focused on eliminating basic social inequalities,
which have been a persistent problem in the Caucasus. There is, for example,
the problem of a limited capacity of the education system and problems with the quality of education, which is reflected in the results of the national final
school exam. Then there is the shortage
of healthcare facilities, which has led to higher mortality rates in the region, particularly infant mortality. There is the unemployment issue, which
has a big impact on overall income levels. Of course, alongside all of this is
work to develop the real sector of the economy, because the social sector and the budget are limited, and we can really only resolve issues like unemployment
and raise real incomes if we develop the real sector of the economy. We therefore put the primary focus
on these areas. Our first task was to effectively resolve social issues and at the same time find niches where the Caucasus can establish a balanced presence
on the country’s economic map, without resorting to artificial projects. Of course, you can force people to do this or that if you try, but in the current
situation, we realise that this does not work. Mr President, if you look at the social sector, you can see that over
2014–2016, we have built 113 new facilities in total, including 62 schools and 13 healthcare and engineering infrastructure facilities. Here are the results we have already obtained. We will create an additional
30,000 places in the education system. In 2014, we tightened the screws in the positive sense on the quality of the national final school exams in the North
Caucasus. Previously, there were problems here because the number of medals
awarded was improbably high and you even had students receiving the full 100%.
We see that an initial sharp drop in results was followed by a steady increase
in all subjects – Russian, maths, physics, and foreign languages. This shows
that students are becoming genuinely competitive now, are receiving a proper
education and are ready to integrate into adult life. In the healthcare sector, on the one hand, the region has always been
able to boast a good demographic situation, but what is important now is that
these demographic results are the result not only of a high birth rate, but
also of a significant drop in mortality rates, particularly infant mortality.
The region was a long way behind the national average in this area. The ratio
was 14.7 in 2012, but it was down to 10.3 in 2015 and we had an even better
result – 9.5 – in the first quarter of this year. Let me touch wood that it
will continue, but we will certainly continue this effort. We see a similar pattern in bringing down the unemployment rate, Mr
President. Vladimir Putin: There has been a noticeable drop in the region as a whole. Lev Kuznetsov: Yes, the drop is noticeable, though
this has been achieved primarily through active investment in the social
sector. By building schools, kindergartens and healthcare facilities we have
created new jobs, of course, and this dynamics has had an impact on the overall
situation. We were lagging behind the national average at a ratio of 1 to 5 in 2013, but it was down to a 2.8-fold difference in 2015. This is still a serious
challenge, of course, because for the students who go to school and receive a proper
education the question of what to do next is a big issue. We realise that,
taking into account our limited possibilities for budget investment, the only
way we can resolve this task is by developing the real sector of the economy. Vladimir Putin: You need to raise private investment. Lev Kuznetsov: Yes, especially private investment
on the basis of public-private partnership. Frankly, we realise that the investment climate in the North Caucasus is not the same as elsewhere,
unfortunately. The region does not have large deposits of natural resources,
and big business, whether private or public, is not present in the region.
Rosneft operates in the region, but only at old fields that are reaching
exhaustion point. Our task now is therefore to identify areas in which we can
be competitive and projects that are focused on the long term. Mr President, we
have found the niches in which we think the North Caucasus can offer projects
at the federal and regional levels. To be
continued

Fehlende Kompromissbereitschaft

MIL OSI – Source: Deutschland Bundesregierung – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Fehlende Kompromissbereitschaft

Die Sanktionen gegen Russland bleiben wegen fehlender Fortschritte im Minsker Friedensprozess weiter bestehen. Das bestätigten die stellvertretende Regierungssprecherin Demmer sowie die Sprecher des Außen- und Landwirtschaftsministeriums.

Der Friedensprozess in der Ostukraine stockt – die Sanktionen gegen Russland bleiben daher bestehen.
Foto: REUTERS

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel habe gemeinsam mit dem französischen Staatspräsidenten François Hollande in den vergangenen eineinhalb Jahren “sehr viel Zeit und Kraft investiert, um diesen Konflikt zu entschärfen”, sagte die stellvertretende Regierungssprecherin Ulrike Demmer in der Regierungspressekonferenz.

“In unzähligen Telefonaten, persönlichen Begegnungen ging es vorrangig darum, einen offenen Krieg mitten in Europa zu verhindern”, so Demmer. Leider trete man in diesem Prozess nun seit Monaten auf der Stelle, was die konkrete Umsetzung der Vereinbarungen von Minsk angehe. “Trotzdem bedarf es weiter intensiver Bemühungen der Partner im Normandie-Format, da nach Lösungen zu suchen.”

Am 6. Juni 2014 traf sich Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel mit Wladimir Putin, Petro Poroschenko und François Hollande am Rande des Weltkriegs-Gedenkens in der Normandie. Es war die erste Begegnung der Staatschefs Russlands und der Ukraine seit Beginn der Krise. Seither werden Treffen und Gespräche mit Beteiligten der vier Länder Normandie-Format genannt.
Hartes Ringen um Fortschritte

“Es ist richtig – und das bleibt so – dass die Sanktionen eine Funktion der Fortschritte in den Minsker Vereinbarungen sind”. Der Fortschritt aber sei “eine Schnecke”, beklagte Außenamtssprecher Martin Schäfer mit Blick auf den Stillstand in den Verhandlungen im Normandie-Format.

Es sei die feste Überzeugung von Außenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, dass bei Fortschritten auch “die Möglichkeit bestünde, die Sanktionen sukzessive zu lockern”. Es gebe derzeit “intensive Verhandlungen mit Moskau und Kiew an der Seite unserer französischen Partner”, erläuterte Schäfer. Der Außenminister erhoffe sich bis spätestens September Fortschritte, aber “da sind wir noch nicht”.
Drei Kernfragen ungelöst

Der Sprecher benannte “drei Baustellen”, auf denen es sei dem letzten Normandie-Gipfeltreffen vom 1. Oktober 2015 in Paris ein ständiges “Vor und wieder Zurück” gegeben habe: Bei der allgemeinen Frage der Sicherheit, bei der Umsetzung der Minsker Verpflichtung zur Durchsetzung von Lokalwahlen und bei der Frage der Sicherstellung der Sicherheit für diese Wahlen.

“Wir haben bei Weitem nicht die Fortschritte erzielt, die wir uns gewünscht hätten seit Oktober”, sagte Schäfer. Das habe eine Menge Gründe, die ausschließlich in Moskau und Kiew zu suchen seien. “Die Konfliktparteien sind einfach bislang noch nicht bereit gewesen, die notwendigen politischen Kompromisse einzugehen, die erforderlich sind, um Minsk umzusetzen.”
Wieder steigende Opferzahlen

Insbesondere aus Kiewer Sicht seien die Schwierigkeiten bei der Umsetzung des politischen Prozesses nachvollziehbar, sagte der Sprecher. Gleichwohl arbeite die Bundesregierung weiter an einem Kompromiss, “weil es niemandem dienlich sein würde, diesen Konflikt zu verewigen oder gar zu einem ‘frozen conflict’ zu machen.”

Das Anschwellen der militärischen Auseinandersetzung im Donbass sei besorgniserregend. “Wir werden auch nicht müde, das unseren Gesprächspartnern in Moskau und Kiew zu sagen”, betonte Schäfer.
Kontakte unterhalb der Sanktionsschwelle

Auch Bundeslandwirtschaftsminister Christian Schmidt habe auf seiner Reise nach Moskau in der vergangenen Woche gegenüber seinen Gesprächspartnern deutlich gemacht, dass die Aufhebung der EU-Sanktionen “ganz klar mit der Umsetzung des Friedensabkommens von Minsk II zusammenhängt”, stellte der Sprecher des Ministeriums Steffen Heinzelmann klar.

Darüber hinaus sei nicht über konkrete Daten gesprochen worden. Vielmehr sei es darum gegangen, generell auszuloten, wie die Zusammenarbeit zwischen beiden Ländern ohne Umgehung des Lebensmittel-Embargos weiterhin möglich sein könne.

Russland hatte als Reaktion auf die Sanktionsmaßnahmen der EU ein Lebensmittel-Embargo gegen landwirtschaftliche Produkte aus der Europäischen Union verhängt. Diese wurden im Zuge der Verlängerung der EU-Maßnahmen ebenfalls verlängert.
Montag, 1. August 2016

Аэрофлот за 6 месяцев 2016 года получил 8 млрд руб. чистой прибыли против убытка годом ранее

MIL OSI – Source: Russia Aeroflot – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Аэрофлот за 6 месяцев 2016 года получил 8 млрд руб. чистой прибыли против убытка годом ранее

1 августа 2016 года, Москва – ПАО «Аэрофлот» (тикер на Московской Бирже: AFLT) сегодня опубликовало финансовую отчетность по итогам шести месяцев, подготовленную в соответствии с Российскими стандартами бухгалтерского учета (РСБУ). Результаты по РСБУ представлены на неконсолидированной основе.

 Ключевые результаты за 6 месяцев 2016 года:

– Выручка составила 194 150 млн руб., что на 24,0% превышает показатель за аналогичный период прошлого года и объясняется ростом операционных показателей в первом полугодии, в частности ростом пассажиропотока ПАО «Аэрофлот» в первом полугодии на 12,2%, а также существенным курсовым эффектом на выручку ПАО «Аэрофлот», номинированную в иностранной валюте.

– Себестоимость продаж составила 175 021 млн руб. и на 18,5%  превышает показатель прошлого года, что объясняется ростом объемов операций, расширением парка воздушных судов, а также курсовым эффектом на валютные расходы.

– Валовая прибыль увеличилась в 2,14 раза, до 19 129 млн руб, что отражает  опережающий рост выручки против затрат за счет эффективного управления ключевыми статьями расходов на фоне роста пассажиропотока,  с учетом вышеуказанных факторов.

– Чистая прибыль составила 8 014 млн руб., против 1 063 млн руб. чистого убытка за 6 месяцев прошлого года, что связано с улучшением результатов на операционном уровне и дополнительными доходами,  такими как продажа воздушных судов, находившихся в финансовом лизинге и возврат ранее внесенных авансов по предстоящим поставкам лайнеров, также  связанными с курсовым эффектом.

– Базовая  прибыль на одну акцию составила 7,22 руб., против 0,96 руб. убытка на одну акцию за 6 месяцев прошлого года.

 Шамиль Курмашов, заместитель генерального директора по коммерции и финансам ПАО «Аэрофлот», прокомментировал:

 «Сегодня мы публикуем финансовые результаты, подготовленные по российским стандартам бухгалтерского учета за первое полугодие 2016 года. Сильные финансовые результаты определяются в значительной степени высокими операционными результатами: ростом пассажиропотока и ростом загрузки пассажирских кресел. В частности в первом полугодии авиакомпания «Аэрофлот» показала рост перевозок пассажиров на 12,2% до 13,4 млн. пассажиров и рост загрузки пассажирских кресел на 2,0 п.п. до 78,9%. С учетом дочерних компаний рост пассажиропотока составил 10,3% до 19,7 млн пассажиров и загрузки кресел – 2,9 п.п. до 78,6%. Существенную роль в достижении данных  результатов сыграли программы по внедрению современных цифровых технологий в процессы управления компанией, в результате чего в Аэрофлоте был достигнут высокий уровень цифровизации бизнес-процессов. Эффективное управление провозными мощностями и программы экономии на основе цифровых решений, запущенные годом ранее, общее улучшение экономической ситуации и доходы, полученные от эффективного управления парком воздушных судов, курсовых разниц по возврату депозитов за поставки лайнеров и других единоразовых эффектов, позволили нам показать позитивную динамику  результатов и, в частности, выйти на положительную чистую прибыль в размере 8,0 млрд рублей по итогам полугодия. Мы прилагаем все усилия для сохранения текущих трендов и надеемся, что позитивный результат по чистой прибыли за отчетный период позволит показать улучшение результатов по финансовому году в целом и снова выплачивать дивиденды акционерам ПАО «Аэрофлот».

 АЭРОФЛОТ — лидер воздушного транспорта России, член глобального авиационного альянса SkyTeam. Совокупная маршрутная сеть альянса насчитывает 1057 пунктов в 179 странах. В 2015 году Аэрофлот перевез 26,1 млн человек, а с учетом авиакомпаний Группы «Аэрофлот» — 39,4 млн.

Аэрофлот в 2016 году первым из российских компаний стал обладателем высокого рейтинга «четыре звезды» Skytrax по качеству сервиса и в пятый раз стал обладателем престижной международной премии SkyTrax World Airline Awards в категории «Лучшая авиакомпания Восточной Европы».

Аэрофлот в 2015 году впервые вошел в ТОП-10 авиакомпаний с лучшей кухней на борту по версии ведущего американского издания о путешествиях Global Traveler.

Аэрофлот располагает одним из самых молодых самолетных парков в мире, который насчитывает 171 воздушное судно. Аэрофлот базируется в Москве, в международном аэропорту Шереметьево.

Аэрофлот входит в число мировых лидеров по обеспечению безопасности полетов. Коэффициент программы Европейской комиссии SAFA у Аэрофлота соответствует уровню ведущих мировых авиакомпаний.

Аэрофлот первым из российских перевозчиков вошел в реестр операторов IOSA и постоянно подтверждает этот сертификат. Авиакомпания успешно прошла аудит безопасности наземного обслуживания ISAGO. Интегрированная система менеджмента ПАО «Аэрофлот — российские авиалинии» сертифицирована по стандартам ISO 9001:2008 и ISO 14001:2004.

Analytical paper: Belarus-Russia relations after the Ukraine conflict

MIL OSI – Source: Belarus Digest – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Analytical paper: Belarus-Russia relations after the Ukraine conflict

Since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict began, the Kremlin has persistently tried to expand its control over Belarus, a process that has had quite the opposite effect as Belarusian government policy became more independent in 2014-2015.
There has always existed a paradox in the simultaneous contingence and estrangement in Belarusian-Russian relations.
Estrangement looks the stronger of the two today, evidenced by the decrease in Belarus’ military dependence on Russia and its refusal to allow the establishment of a Russian military base on its territory; the reduction in the Russian economy’s role in Belarus; discrepancies in the foreign policy and media spheres; and conflicts between the political elites of both countries.
These are some of the conclusions found in a new analytical paper Belarus-Russia Relations after the Ukraine Conflict released by the Ostrogorski Centre today.

This paper examines the integration/disintegration tendencies in Belarus-Russia relations since November 2013, when protests started in Ukraine. The ensuing Euromaidan, annexation of Crimea, and war in the Donbass have considerably altered European politics, including relations between Minsk and Moscow.
Despite close relations and the formal joint construction of the Union State, which also provides for integration processes, Belarus and Russia are becoming estranged from each other, in numerous ways. There are two reasons for this.

Lukashenka has probably never before taken so seriously the possibility of a Russian military operation inside BelarusFirst, the Kremlin’s policy towards Ukraine led to a re-thinking inside Belarusian authoritative circles of the possible steps that Russia could take with regard to Belarus. Alexander Lukashenka has probably never before taken so seriously the possibility of a Russian military operation inside Belarus as he did when he claimed in May 2015 that the Belarusian army needs to be so strong that it is capable of “being thrown from Brest to Vitebsk in half a night to strike a blow”.
Secondly, the decline of the Russian economy lessens the Kremlin’s role as guarantor of Belarus’ well-being. In the conditions of slumping prices, shrinking of the domestic market, and declining GDP growth and forex reserves in Russia, diversification of the Belarusian economy has transformed from wishful thinking into a vital necessity.

Military cooperation has always been the “holy cow” of Belarusian-Russian integration, and the basis for journalists’ and Western experts’ statements presuming that the Belarusian army remains a part of the Russian one.
One of the grounds for such a presumption is the existence of the Integrated Regional Antiaircraft Defense System which, according to the Russian military, started functioning in 2016. The agreement on its creation was signed back in 2009 and in fact brought nothing new to Russian-Belarusian military cooperation. It looks likely that announcing the establishment of an antiaircraft defense system was aimed at making milder Belarus’ refusal to place a Russian military air base on its territory.
The refusal to create the airbase reflects a broader trend – i.e. Belarus’ attempts to reduce its military dependence on Russia. The presence of so many Belarusian military personnel in Russia has always ensured that there is a mental connection between the Belarusian and the Russian armies – it is hard to find any top Belarusian military official who has not studied in Russia.
However, the number of Belarusian military cadets at the Russian military’s higher educational establishments is decreasing: last academic year there were 447, this year only 374.
The joint Shield of the Union exercises in 2015 gathered 1.5 times fewer military personnel than the 2011 Shield of the Union or West-2013 exercises (i.e. 8,000 participants compared with 12,000). While military exercises seemed all but impossible without Russia before, today the Belarusian paratroopers practice with the Chinese every year.
Although the scope of such training exercises looks miserly in comparison with the exercises with Russia, it shows Belarus’ desire to find new partners.

China, in general, has become a noticeable partner for Belarus. This is most clearly seen in the joint development of weapons systems by Minsk and Beijing, the multiple launch rocket system fire Polonaise being an example.

In many ways, Russia’s economic decay is responsible for the fact that in only its first year of existence, the Eurasian Economic Union’s (EEU) became a failure for Belarus.
First, the integration project inherited practically all the tariffs (about 600) that existed in the Customs Union. Due to such mechanisms, about two third of goods and services have been withdrawn from the common market of the EEU. Secondly, economic interaction between the countries has reduced. According to data provided by the Eurasian Economic Commission, the trade turnover of Belarusian goods with the EU countries in 2015 was only 74.8 % of that in 2014.

Thirdly, although Belarus has introduced unpopular measures like increasing fees for the import of cars, the regulations of the economic union serve Russia’s interests, as evidenced by the continuing economic wars. Fourthly, the importance of oil and gas, which were the key motivators for Belarus to join the EEU, have fallen sharply

Russia’s aggressive foreign policy and economic decline have become one of the most important motivators for the Belarusian authorities to normalise relations with the West. Data provided by the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS) shows that since 2013 Belarus has intensified its relations with the European Union, and today contacts with the EU outnumber those with Russia.

The BISS data reflects the fact that Belarus started normalising relations with the EU and building up contacts with “developing countries” at the beginning of 2013. This included support for Ukraine’s European integration. This shows that the increase in dialogue with the West started not because of Russia’ expansionist policy, but for internal reasons.
It is nonetheless indisputable that the activation of Belarusian contacts with the world and deepening discrepancies in the foreign policies of Moscow and Minsk in 2013-2014 were in many respects a product of Russia’s foreign policy and economic decline.
It is important to note that Belarus’ normalisation of relations with the West is not an attempt at a geopolitical U-turn. So far, neither Belarus on the one side, nor the European Union and the United States on the other, have taken any cardinal steps in the form of big economic projects (Belarus still hasn’t even managed to obtain a loan from the International Monetary Fund) and contact in the political and military spheres remains at a low level.

Despite Belarus’ lessening dependence on Russia, relations seem unlikely to come to the point of a dramatic breakdown in integration.
First, Belarus remains overdependent on Russia financially – it continues to receive from Russia loans and “subsidies” – i.e. discounts for oil and gas and access to the common market. Furthermore, it remains highly important to Lukashenka that Russia acknowledges the results of the presidential elections in Belarus. Secondly, Belarus remains an important country in Europe for Russia. Therefore, the Kremlin won’t allow the total disintegration of the two countries’ relationship.
Nonetheless, the process of estrangement will continue further, and this is also connected with the generational changes inside the societies. The number of Belarusians who once lived in the same state as Russia – the USSR – is steadily decreasing and the quantity of people who identify themselves as ethnically Russian is reducing. Also a new nomenclature elite is emerging, interest in Belarusian culture is reviving, and young people are becoming more open to the world.
And the last, but important change: a political class that is accustomed to sovereign power, in which decisions are taken independently, has formed in Belarus.
Ryhor Astapenia & Dzmitry Balkuniets

Ryhor Astapenia is a Development Director at the Ostrogorski Centre, and editor-in-chief of Belarusian internet magazine Idea.

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В г. Брянске прокуратура защитила права инвалида по зрению, которому было отказано в доступе в магазин

MIL OSI – Source: Russia – Prosecutor Generals Office –

Headline: В г. Брянске прокуратура защитила права инвалида по зрению, которому было отказано в доступе в магазин

Прокуратура Бежицкого района г. Брянска проверила исполнение законодательства, обеспечивающего беспрепятственный доступ инвалидов к объектам социальной инфраструктуры.

Установлено, что в марте 2016 года контролер торгового магазина «Фикс прайс» ООО «Топ Трейд» отказал местному жителю, который является инвалидом по зрению, в доступе в этот магазин, поскольку при нем имелась собака-проводник.

Между тем, требования Федерального закона «О социальной защите инвалидов в Российской Федерации» предписывают организациям независимо от их организационно-правовых форм обеспечить инвалидов, включая инвалидов, использующих кресла-коляски и собак-проводников, условиями для беспрепятственного доступа к объектам социальной, инженерной и транспортной инфраструктур.

По постановлению прокурора контролер торгового магазина «Фикс прайс», нарушивший закон, оштрафован мировым судьей по ст. 9.13 КоАП РФ (уклонение от исполнения требований доступности для инвалидов объектов инженерной и социальной инфраструктур) на 2 тыс. рублей.

Помимо этого, прокуратура в ходе надзорных мероприятий выявила факты отсутствия специальных приспособлений (пандусов) или кнопок вызова персонала для беспрепятственного доступа в магазины ООО «Агротес», ООО «Каронада», ООО «Очкарик», ООО «Промприборкомплект», а также аптеку ООО «Доктор» и магазин медицинской техники ООО «Медресурс».

В отношении должностных лиц данных организаций прокуратура возбудила дела об административном правонарушении по ст. 9.13 КоАП РФ, по результатам рассмотрения которых виновные лица оштрафованы на общую сумму 14 тыс. рублей.

Кроме того, с целью устранения нарушений закона прокуратура внесла представления руководителям указанных организаций, по результатам рассмотрения которых нарушения закона устранены, организациями установлены кнопки вызова персонала. Кроме того, 6 работников организаций привлечены к дисциплинарной ответственности.

Исполнение законодательства о социальной защите инвалидов находится на постоянном контроле прокуратуры.

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