Updated at 13:22,17-06-2024

Kalinkina: We did not conduct negotiations with authorities to mitigate our position in exchange for a withdrawal of claims

news portal www.UDF.BY

The first Chief’s Editor Deputy of "Narodnaya Volya" newspaper Svetlana Kalinkina believes that the decision of Ministry of Information of Belarus to withdraw their claims from Superior Economic Court to close "Nasha Niva" and "Narodnaya Volya" has been influenced by the whole complex of reasons. She passed this opinion to news portal www.UDF.BY' correspondent.

On Tuesday and Wednesday representatives from Ministry of Information of Belarus appeared at Superior Economic Court of the Republic of Belarus with the allegation to withdraw the claims to close two independent newspapers – "Nasha Niva" and "Narodnaya Volya".

"I think there are several reasons why the claims to close newspapers were withdrawn. Apparently, hundreds of complaints to Lukashenko and Ministry of Information, made by ordinary people, who demanded to withdraw claims and not to close newspapers, played the role," – as Svetlana Kalinkina noted.

In addition, she believes that in the minds of some owners of government offices common sense has woken up: "We have intelligent people, who suggested: the closure of newspapers does not lead to the termination of alternative information flows, but may cause the opposite effect. After all, when journalists start to work only with the web-site, then they are not tied by certain articles of law on mass media and can work in more sharp and open manner."

The third factor, named by the first deputy of the chief editor of "Narodnaya Volya" is the economic situation in Belarus: "Probably, the most important point is the need of loans. No matter how hard the official Minsk reports on economical progress, in fact the authorities have to apply to International Monetary Fund and to other financial institutions in order to attract loans in Belarus. And when there are political prisoners in the country, closing independent newspapers, any serious negotiations cannot even be carried on".

Despite today's positive decision for the editorial board, news portal www.UDF.BY’ interviewee warns against euphoria, as "Ministry of Information can re-submit these claims at any time".

She denied rumors that the editors of "Nasha Niva" and "Narodnaya Volya" signed an agreement with the government on "lowering the degree" of their articles: "As far as I know, negotiations with the authorities to mitigate our position in exchange for a review of withdrawals was not conducted".

In her opinion, it is even difficult to imagine what editors would be guided by, going on to such negotiations. "To do the second "Sovetskaya Belorussia" is meaningless. The newspaper has its readers, its own reputation. I do not think that the editors are ready to "bury" their newspapers ingloriously," - stressed Svetlana Kalinkina. – "Editorial Policy of "Narodnaya Volya" won’t be changed. So far there was no speech in respect of this question."