Minsk anticipates to escape responsibility for failed deadlines during potash plant construction in Turkmenistan
Former Prime Minister and Chairman of Council of the Republic Mikhail Myasnikovich expressed discontent to Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Belarus Nazarguly Shagulyev due to the difficulties faced by Belarusian workers during the construction of the Garlyk mining and processing plant. In turn, Turkmenistan accused Belarus of noncompliance with her obligations in the construction of the Garlyk mine. So far, there were no serious mutual claims between Minsk and Ashgabat, regardless of seriously delayed deadlines at the construction site in Turkmenistan. That said, the plant should have been commissioned in 2015. Belarus and Turkmenistan regard their bilateral relations as a strategic partnership and hold annual bilateral summits. Apparently, prolonged economic crisis in Belarus has affected Belarus’ ability to fulfil her commitments in the mine construction, albeit the president supervises the project. Minsk is likely to exacerbate bilateral relations due to the inability to fulfil the construction commitments by the designated deadline, March 2017.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.