Price controls imposed in March have not worked. Sugar, meat, and dairy products have disappeared from state stores that sell at controlled prices, and inflation has stubbornly continued to rise, reaching 3.2% (over 40% at an annual rate) in May. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka ordered the Central Bank to roll inflation back but did not tell it how. Perhaps the Bank can bail the Russian statisticians out of jail to help cook the books. Authorities welded shut the gate to the American ambassador’s residence and ordered the compound that houses personnel from about 20 diplomatic missions closed for repairs. Despite protests from the United States, France, Lithuania, and many others, the government says it will cut off electricity, water, and telephone on June 17. The United States claims the action would violate diplomatic conventions and promises swift retaliation if the order is carried out…. At the biannual meeting of the Russia-Belarus Executive Committee, Belarus refused to pay its debts and Russia refused to forgive them. The issue, which concerns some $430 million for fuels and energy purchased since April 1, 1996, was referred to a joint working group. Russian Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko says dryly that the political development of the Russia-Belarus Union lacks an appropriate economic foundation.