New faces in Belarusian protest movement evolve from criminal prosecution
The Moscow district court in Minsk started hearings of Vladimir Kondrus case, a new defendant in a high-profile case of the mass disorder after the 2010 elections. His unprecedented non-conformist behaviour during the investigation and in the courtroom surprised even former political prisoners from the opposition and drew increased public attention. He may become a role model for other prisoners. It is noteworthy that the authorities have switched from prosecuting opposition leaders to prosecuting active citizens not connected with the titular opposition, such as blogger Eduard Palchys and participant in the postelection street protests in 2010, Vladimir Kondrus. Due to the criminal prosecution, previously unknown activists have become public figures with a potential to become protest movement leaders.
According to Decree No. 221 of June 23rd, 2017, deadlines for the completion of foreign trade operations have been extended from 90 to 180 days for exports and from 60 to 90 days for imports. Delayed payments entailed a fine up to 2% of the transaction cost for each day of the delay, but could not exceed the total cost of the transaction. Most companies, when working with new counterparties, require a deferred payment for a period of three to six months. Due to the new regulation, violations are likely to reduce in number, so as the fines. Trade enterprises are likely to expand the assortment list due to the supply of new products in small lots, and the assortment list of exported Belarusian goods could expand, too. The new terms for completing foreign trade transactions would enable medium and small companies on the foreign trade market, exporters and importers are likely to grow in number and the geography of export-import operations could expand.