Updated at 20:54,07-12-2016

Opposition coalition to hold international conference on Belarusian-Russian relations

The United Pro-democratic Forces (UPF) and the Minsk-based Stratehiya think-tank plan to hold a conference in the Belarusian capital city on August 27 on the theme "Belarusian-Russian Relations: Castling or Resetting," Anatol Lyabedzka, leader of the United Civic Party, a member of the opposition coalition, told BelaPAN.

"The role of its relations with Russia is very important for Belarus, but this theme has been under the complete control of government officials in the last 15 years," Mr. Lyabedzka said. "Civil society in both Belarus and Russia has no opportunity to influence the development of relations between the two countries. The recent milk and meat wars were a consequence of the incompetence of officials."

Belarusian-Russian relations in the political and economic spheres and the foreign policies of Minsk and Moscow will be under discussion, Mr. Lyabedzka said.

According to him, participants are expected to include Sergei Aleksashenko, a former first deputy head of the Central Bank of Russia; Vladimir Melov, president of Russia’s Energy Policy Institute; and Vladimir Ryzhkov, a State Duma member between 1993 and 2007 and professor at the Higher Economics School.

Invitations have also been sent to Belarusian Foreign Minister Syarhey Martynaw and Uladzimir Makey, head of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s Presidential Administration.