At a recent meeting with managers at the country’s second largest oil refinery in Mozyr, in southeast Belarus, President Aleksandr Lukashenko said it was time for the country to become a "modern oil state." (9) Toward that end, he said the Russian oil and gas firm Slavneft was negotiating a $300 million loan to upgrade the Mozyr refinery in exchange for 51 percent stock ownership. Opposition politicians subsequently learned that the country’s largest oil and petrochemical concern in Novopolotsk, is to be modernized the same way, with the Russian firms LukOil and YUKOS to control 76 percent of the shares of that enterprise. The deals would effectively constitute a transfer of Belarus’s oil refining industry into Russian hands. (10)
Tajik Government Appeases Dissident Allies.