Ibelarus http://ibelarus.net/ Wed, 24 Nov 2021 17:29:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 http://ibelarus.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-4-150x150.png Ibelarus http://ibelarus.net/ 32 32 EU calls for sanctions on airlines and tourism companies that help migrants enter Belarus http://ibelarus.net/eu-calls-for-sanctions-on-airlines-and-tourism-companies-that-help-migrants-enter-belarus/ Wed, 24 Nov 2021 17:29:04 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/eu-calls-for-sanctions-on-airlines-and-tourism-companies-that-help-migrants-enter-belarus/

The European Union expects the introduction of the fifth package of sanctions against Belarus. However, the contested land will not be their only destination.

The EU plans to target airlines and tour groups for the sanctions after the organization accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of targeting migrants to destabilize neighboring countries. According to a draft sanction obtained by the Associated Press, the companies concerned are accused of assisting Belarus in bringing migrants into the country. From there, rural migrants would be encouraged to cross international borders into Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.

The Belarusian airline Belavia was mainly named in the new sanctions as the main airline carrying migrants. The document states that “migrants wishing to cross the Union’s external border will be arriving on Belavia-operated flights from a number of Middle Eastern countries, notably Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey Minsk have flown “.

Other companies named in the sanctions are Cham Wing Airlines, the state tourism company Tsentrkurort, the passport and visa distributor VIP Grub and the Belarusian President Property Management Directorate.

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, speaking to the EU on Wednesday, has expressed her approval of the proposed sanctions.

“Sanctions are working,” she told the EU heads of state and government. “Sanctions divide the elites, destroy corruption plans and divide the people around Lukashenko.”

The sanctions against Belarus and the companies accused of the aid are to be approved in the coming days.

More coverage from The Associated Press can be found below.

According to a draft sanction obtained by the Associated Press, the companies concerned are accused of assisting Belarus in bringing migrants into the country. From there, rural migrants would be encouraged to cross international borders into Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. Above, Iraqis speak to the press upon arrival at Baghdad airport after being killed on Jan.
Photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP via Getty Images

Zikhanouskaya on Wednesday appealed to the European Union not to forget the plight of ordinary citizens and political prisoners in the former Soviet country as the EU prepares new sanctions to prevent a border security crisis attributed to Lukashenko.

Tsikhanouskaya told EU lawmakers that “882 of my fellow citizens have been recognized for exercising basic political rights that are taken for granted in the rest of Europe.” She called on the bloc of 27 countries not to recognize Lukashenko or his government and to increase support for ordinary citizens.

“It’s getting late. Since August 2020 there have been plenty of gestures and expressions of solidarity. The Belarusians have been praised for reviving their belief in democracy and human dignity,” she said. “Isn’t it up to the Europeans to demonstrate their commitment to these values ​​with deeds?”

Cham Wing Airlines operates flights from Syria to Belarus. She is accused of ramping up flights from Damascus to Minsk in the summer and setting up new offices in the Belarusian capital in order to better organize the shuttles.

The EU claims that Tsentrkurort helped at least 51 Iraqis obtain visas for Belarus and organized bus transports to the borders for them.

Hotel Minsk and Hotel Planeta, affiliated with the Belarusian President’s Property Management Directorate, are accused of hosting migrants who want to cross the border.

The draft sanctions list states that VIP Grub “organizes trips to Belarus with the express intention of facilitating migration to the EU. VIP Grub is actively promoting migration to the EU.”

Meanwhile, Ukraine launched a special operation on its border with Belarus to increase security to prevent migrants from entering. It comes when hundreds of people, mostly from the Middle East, remain stranded on the Polish border in Belarus and are trapped when forces from the two countries face each other.

The Ukrainian authorities announced last Friday that they had intercepted 15 people of Middle Eastern descent trying to enter from Belarus – the first such incident at the Ukrainian border since the security crisis flared up at the EU borders.

Ukraine shares a 1,084-kilometer border with Belarus, and Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskiy has announced plans to build a fence on the borders with Belarus and Russia following the incident.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya at EU
Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya speaks in front of the European Parliament on November 24, 2021 in Strasbourg, France.
AP Photo / Jean-Francois Badias
Fund run by Russia in talks with Belarus about aid, but wants reforms http://ibelarus.net/fund-run-by-russia-in-talks-with-belarus-about-aid-but-wants-reforms/ Wed, 24 Nov 2021 11:41:00 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/fund-run-by-russia-in-talks-with-belarus-about-aid-but-wants-reforms/

Vehicles drive on a ring road around Minsk, Belarus March 5, 2020. REUTERS / Wassily Fedosenko / File Photo

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MOSCOW, Nov. 24 (Reuters) – The Russia-led Eurasian Stabilization and Development Fund (EFSD) is in talks with Belarus over financial assistance, but wants the country’s scarce country to initiate reforms before it disburses money, said the manager of the fund, called Andrey Shirokov.

Western sanctions, imposed last year for a widespread crackdown on street protests, have made borrowing in international markets on market terms expensive for Minsk, which as of November 1 had $ 8.55 billion in international reserves.

“We are in talks with Belarus about a potential government and central bank program to support its budget and balance of payments,” Shirokov said in an interview with Reuters.

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The European Union, United States, Great Britain and Canada imposed sanctions on Belarus last year for cracking down on street protests against a rigged presidential election – a claim the Belarusian authorities deny. [nL1N2J31GS] [nL8N2I54IN]

Relations with the West have deteriorated further this year after a passenger plane flying over the country was forced to land and a dissident was arrested on board. Minsk is also currently in a stalemate with the EU over migrants. [nL5N2O633U] Continue reading

The EFSD, a regional institution that aims to provide financial assistance to its member states, which include Belarus, can provide funds to the country on favorable terms and has no deadline to approve a grant package, Shirokov said.

The fund’s credit limit for Belarus is $ 1.79 billion, but it could be changed by reallocating funds from other member states, Shirokov said.

The EFSD called on Belarus to implement reforms to stimulate economic growth in order to release the funds.

To this end, he recommends Belarus an inflation-oriented monetary policy, a balanced budget policy and a limit on the debt level. She also wants state-owned companies to be reformed, said Shirokov.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in August to provide him with $ 1 billion through the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), which manages the funds of the EFSD, after the Belarusian economy was affected by the COVID-19. Pandemic had hit crisis and western sanctions.

Belarus received a pre-approved $ 930 million from the International Monetary Fund shortly after Lukashenko’s application to Moscow. That made the credit problem in Belarus “less acute” but not resolved it, said Shirokov.

“This amount is not enough, the need is higher,” he said.

Belarus is facing financial bottlenecks over the next three years, the size of which the EFSD is currently assessing, while its economy has the medium-term potential to grow by only 1% per year after shrinking 0.9% in 2020, Shirokov said.

“The country cannot afford to maintain high social spending. There are two options here – either reforms to increase potential and actual economic growth, or cut spending, ”said Shirokov.

Russia is the EFSD’s largest donor, but Shirokov said Moscow cannot make its own decisions on its behalf. The fund was set at $ 8.5 billion in 2009 and has increased by approximately $ 1 billion since then.

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Letter from Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Why Peng Shuai is frustrating China’s propaganda machine http://ibelarus.net/why-peng-shuai-is-frustrating-chinas-propaganda-machine/ Tue, 23 Nov 2021 22:28:53 +0000 http://ibelarus.net/why-peng-shuai-is-frustrating-chinas-propaganda-machine/

The Chinese government is extremely effective at controlling what the country’s 1.4 billion people think and say.

But influencing the rest of the world is a different matter, as Peng Shuai aptly pointed out.

Chinese state media and their journalists have presented one piece of evidence after another to prove that the Chinese star tennis player was safe and sound despite her public allegations of sexual assault against a powerful former vice-premier.

A Beijing-controlled outlet claimed it had received it an email she wrote in which she denied the allegations. Another offered a video of Ms. Peng at a dinner where she and her companions discussed the date in a rather noticeable manner, to prove that it was taped last weekend.

The international outcry only grew louder. Rather than convincing the world, China’s awkward response has become a textbook example of its inability to communicate with an audience it cannot control through censorship and coercion.