In an effort to evade actual and threatened restriction by the Belarus government, the opposition press is arranging printing facilities in Lithuania. The Belarus opposition newspaper, Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta, is being printed in Vilnius by the Lietuvos Rytas publishing house, which belongs to Lithuania’s leading daily newspaper. The same publishers have reportedly agreed to also print the BDG´s weekly supplement Imya. Last month another Vilnius publishing house began printing the Minsk political and economic weekly Belorusskaya Gazeta, whose editors sought this arrangement anticipating possible restrictions from the Belarus authorities in connection with the upcoming electoral campaign.
These newspapers moved their printing operations to Lithuania after Belarus president Aleksandr Lukashenko forbade state printing firms from concluding contracts with independent publications not approved by a presidential body responsible for mass media oversight. The newspapers are now seeking to create their own distribution channels in Belarus, not wishing to depend on the Soviet-era relic Belsoyuzpechat, the monopoly state distributor. (16)
Protest in Moldova Smaller but Meaner.