Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 46

In an interview onhis first anniversary in office, Belarusian president AleksandrLukashenko told Russian television July 3 that he had made seriousprogress cutting inflation and had begun to move against botha bloated state budget and organized crime. Lukashenko’s plansto cut the budget by ending entitlements have run into troublebecause it has been discovered that seven in every ten Belarusiansnow gets one or more of them. In other comments, Lukashenko expressedextreme skepticism that the CIS could ever become a more unifiedgroup. Meanwhile, Minsk pressed Moscow to sell Belarusia oil andgas at Russian domestic prices.