Belarusian businessmen staged a protest in Central Minsk

Belarusian businessmen staged a protest in Central Minsk

According to opposition newspaper “Charter 97”, several hundred people gathered in the center of Minsk, held a rally and staged a March to the presidential administration. Some of them were holding the flag of Belarus of the early 1990s, as well as posters calling for the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Among the participants were opposition leaders, including pardoned by President Lukashenko, the leader of the unregistered party “Narodnaya Hramada,” the former presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich.

The rally ended without any clashes with the police. Later, the opposition announced the arrest of the head of the unregistered “United civil party” Anatoly Lebedko, which the militia was charged with violation of traffic rules.

The protesters Photo: AP

The main requirement of the protesters was the abolition of the presidential decree No. 222, which entered into force on 1 January 2016. In accordance with this document, the entrepreneurs are prohibited from selling products of light industry without a certificate of compliance. The certificates these they do not receive, because buy cheap goods at markets in Russia, where they are either not given any papers, or give fictitious certificates. Consequently, many retail outlets in Belarusian cities has stopped working. Uniting entrepreneurs ‘ movement “Perspective” called the event “the collapse of the retail consumer market”.

The Belarusian authorities repeatedly stated that they were not going to cancel the decree No. 222. Trade Minister Vladimir Koltovich in an interview with TV channel “Belarus-1” said that the authorities are interested in the work of the business, and the current task is the solution of the situation, how to work in the prevailing conditions.

The protesters Photo: REUTERS 2016