WTO accession of Kazakhstan to deteriorate Belarusian positions in EEU

April 22, 2016 19:16

In an interview the Russia-24 TV Channel, Belarusian Foreign Minister Makey said that Belarus was not completely satisfied with the dynamics and progress in the EEU. Belarus is gravely concerned about the upcoming Kazakhstan’s WTO accession, so as it may significantly deteriorate bilateral trade and economic cooperation. That said, during its recent visit to Minsk, the parliamentary delegation of Kazakhstan headed by Chairman of the Committee for Agriculture of the Kazakh Majilis Romin Madinov, attempted to relieve tension and assured Belarus of Kazakhstan’s interest in buying Belarusian agricultural machinery. Belarus has remained the only of the five EEU members without the WTO membership., Belarus suffers the most losses from EEU member states’ WTO accession in terms of loss of competitiveness of Belarusian mechanical engineering and agro-industry on the Eurasian market. 

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Death penalty discussion in Belarus: yet not ready for either abolition or moratorium
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Фота носіць ілюстрацыйны характар. Источник: https://dobromirole.blogspot.com.by Читать далее: http://www.b-g.by/society/4-chamu-pra-smyarotnae-pakaranne-belarus-paslya-razmovyi-bresce-z-alesem-byalyack-m/

The Belarusian authorities have launched a discussion on the moratorium or abolition of the death penalty under the pressure of Belarusian human rights activists and international community. Apparently, the authorities are interested in monitoring public sentiments and response to the possible abolition of the capital punishment. The introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty would depend on the dynamics in Belarusian-European relations, efforts of the civil society organisations and Western capitals.

In Grodno last week, the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Belarus or introducing a moratorium was discussed.

The Belarusian authorities are likely to continue to support the death penalty in Belarus. During his rule, President Lukashenka pardoned only one person, and courts sentenced to death more than 400 people since the early 1990s. Over the past year, Belarusian courts sentenced to death several persons and one person was executed.

There are no recent independent polls about people’s attitude about the death penalty in Belarus. Apparently, this issue is not a priority for the population. In many ways, public opinion about the abolition of the death penalty would depend on the tone of the state-owned media reports.

That said, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church stand for the abolition of the capital punishment, however their efforts in this regard only limit to public statements about their stance. Simultaneously, the authorities could have influenced public opinion about the death penalty through a focused media campaign in the state media. As they did, for example, with the nuclear power plant construction in Astravets. Initially unpopular project of the NPP construction was broadly promoted in the state media, and eventually, according to independent pollsters, was accepted by most population.