Moscow will not aggravate relations with Minsk over oil in coming months
President Vladimir Putin has proposed to oblige the Belarusian oil refineries to use Russian infrastructure to transport oil products. Belarus has consistently refused to redirect the export of petrochemicals from the Baltic to Russian ports, despite discounts offered by the Russian railway. In addition to losing some economic benefits, Minsk could be refusing due to political risks, such as growing dependence on the Kremlin. Disagreements over the supply of Russian oil to Belarus are likely to persist due to Russia’s firm determination to develop its ports.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.