Trade Ministry to punish retailers for late payments to tobacco and alcohol suppliers
The Trade Ministry has informed the Minsk city executive committee of substantial payment arrears by Evrotorg and Rublevsky to food suppliers. Alcohol and tobacco make up to 10% of their retail sales. Checks performed by the Trade Ministry aim to improve settlements in trade as a whole, increase the range of goods on sale and increase the share of Belarusian produces on the shelves in these retailers. The Trade Ministry has threatened these two retailers with revoking their licenses for alcohol and tobacco for a short period and suggested that as a matter of compensation they could buy MAZ trucks for their fleet.
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.