Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 106

The Belarus parliament will set up a special commission to investigate the actions of the OMON and the police during the May 30 demonstration. Deputies from various parties and groups criticized those actions as excessive during the debate on the resolution, presaging a critical verdict of the commission. Parliament chairman Semyon Sharetsky (Agrarian) told a news conference prior to the vote that he "did not subscribe to the approach" followed by law enforcement agencies in prosecuting two Popular Front leaders. He said that the two "do not pose any danger to society" and predicted that they will not be convicted. (Interfax, NTV, May 30 and 31). Sharetsky’s stand implicitly contradicts that of President Lukashenko, who had personally approved the prosecution.

In an even more significant recent sign of differences between the parliamentary majority and Lukashenko, the parliament attached a potentially crippling condition to the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan "deeper integration" treaty. In ratifying that treaty, the parliament insisted that decisions by the quadripartite Interstate Council will be merely nonbinding "recommendations" to Belarus. Also, the parliament erected legal barriers to dual Belarus-Russian citizenship. (Interfax, May 27)

Germany Sees "Major Common Interests" with Uzbekistan.