The Ministry of Trade will manually regulate settlements in trade
As of July 21, the chain of 177 stores of the retail outlet ‘Dobronom’ is suspended for 90 days for having delayed payments owed to suppliers. The volume of overdue payments of this commercial enterprise amounted to BYR 30 billion, which is less than 2% of the volume of overdue payments to suppliers in the entire retail trade. And the suspension of operation for 90 days will result in the bankruptcy of the retail chain. Actions of the Ministry of Trade will bring about the reduction of arrears to suppliers across all the retail chains but a number of smaller retail businesses will be forced to close or will be taken over by one of the chains. A reduction in the terms of payments between retail chains and suppliers of alcohol and tobacco is also possible. After the repayment of arrears and should there be no further violations, a retail chain will be allowed to continue to operate.
The Belarusian authorities have launched a discussion on the moratorium or abolition of the death penalty under the pressure of Belarusian human rights activists and international community. Apparently, the authorities are interested in monitoring public sentiments and response to the possible abolition of the capital punishment. The introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty would depend on the dynamics in Belarusian-European relations, efforts of the civil society organisations and Western capitals.
In Grodno last week, the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Belarus or introducing a moratorium was discussed.
The Belarusian authorities are likely to continue to support the death penalty in Belarus. During his rule, President Lukashenka pardoned only one person, and courts sentenced to death more than 400 people since the early 1990s. Over the past year, Belarusian courts sentenced to death several persons and one person was executed.
There are no recent independent polls about people’s attitude about the death penalty in Belarus. Apparently, this issue is not a priority for the population. In many ways, public opinion about the abolition of the death penalty would depend on the tone of the state-owned media reports.
That said, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church stand for the abolition of the capital punishment, however their efforts in this regard only limit to public statements about their stance. Simultaneously, the authorities could have influenced public opinion about the death penalty through a focused media campaign in the state media. As they did, for example, with the nuclear power plant construction in Astravets. Initially unpopular project of the NPP construction was broadly promoted in the state media, and eventually, according to independent pollsters, was accepted by most population.