Privatization: securing rears
A letter of the State Property Committee of Belarus “Regarding holding of annual common meetings of members of business associations” rules that representatives of state can be appointed to the Supervisory Board of any joint stock company by passing elections when the state has at least one share in it.
Experts regard this new initiative as identical to the “golden share” rule, recently annulled in Belarus. It seems, the state strengthens its positions in Belarusian joint stock companies prior to a large-scale privatization. The state representatives will be protecting state interests while debating and voting on the company’s policy on production, employment, dividends, etc.
Last week, Belarusian Foreign Minister Makei participated in the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Eastern Partnership and Visegrad Group initiative hosted by Warsaw. The Belarusian FM emphasized Belarus' interest in cooperation in the transport sector, which could be due to Belarus’ desire to export electricity surplus after Belarus finished construction of the nuclear power plant in Ostrovets. Minsk expressed concerns about Warsaw’s stance on the Belarusian NPP, as it refused to buy electricity from Belarus and supported Vilnius’ protest on this issue. Following accusations by the Belarusian leadership and the state media against western states, including Poland, of training "nationalist militants", Minsk did not agree on the visit of the European Parliament deputies from Lithuania and Germany to Belarus and to the NPP construction site near Ostrovets in particular. In addition, the Belarusian authorities have stepped up efforts to enforce education in Russian in Polish-language schools in Grodno and Vaukavysk. Should a rift in Belarusian-Polish relations persist, the Belarusian authorities are likely to step up the pressure on the Polish-speaking minority in Belarus.