Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 113

Belarus parliament chairman Semyon Sharetsky told officials at CIS headquarters in Minsk that "it would be wrong to accelerate integration processes for political goals." Sharetsky pointed to the European Union as "an example of wise and consistent integration among countries which don’t lose their sovereignty." He further advised the officials against attempting to change the CIS into a confederation or a federation. Sharetsky recently helped to dilute considerably the Yeltsin-Lukashenko union treaty during parliamentary ratification.

President Aleksandr Lukashenko yesterday dismissed two vice-chairmen of the Belarus National Bank and the chairman of the Belarus Investment Bank, after the Presidential Control Service allegedly found that those officials had improperly credited a company owned by two sons of Stanislau Bahdankevich. Lukashenko also ordered that company’s assets confiscated unless it compensates the state for alleged damages. Bahdankevich is a former National Bank chairman, a supporter of economic reforms and Belarus independent statehood, and a prominent critic of presidential policies from his current position as leader of a group of deputies in the Belarus parliament.

In Brussels, the European Parliament’s foreign policy and security commission unanimously urged the European Union’s Council to suspend the temporary trade agreement between the EU and Belarus. The commission ruled that the agreement must not come into force until the Belarus government improves its observance of democratic norms. The commission cited the agreement’s stipulation linking trade privileges to the political situation in the country. (Itar-Tass, Interfax, June 12 and 13).

Crimeans Unable to Agree on New Constitution.