Tension grows between Minsk and Kremlin over economic issues
Last week, with a reference to a high ranking source in the Russian Energy industry, Reuters reported that Russian oil supplies to Belarus were cut by about 40% not due to economic, but political reasons, in particular, due to rapprochement between Minsk and the West. Earlier, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dvorkovich explained the possible reduction in oil supplies by overdue payments by Minsk for the supplied Russian gas. Yet the Belarusian government has not publicly responded to such significant cuts in oil supplies, regardless of possible substantial budgetary losses. It is worth noting that tension is growing between Belarus and Russia over economic issues. Along with the cuts in oil supply, tension is growing in the gas sector and dairy supplies. Economic tensions between Belarus and Russia are likely to be due to the redistribution of resources amid reduced subsidies from Russia and restrictions on Belarusian products on the Russian market.
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.