Small business leader Shumchanka unwelcome at certification talks in Moscow


Anatol Shumchanka, leader of a small business association called Perspektyva, has been told that his participation in an August 1-2 meeting of the Advisory Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission in Moscow will be undesirable.

Representatives of the regulatory body of the Customs Union explained to Mr. Shumchanka earlier this week that Belarusian government officials had raised objections to his participation in the event.

The Commission's officials said that Mr. Shumchanka was described as an opposition figure involved in organizing illegal street protests. They expressed readiness to invite any other representative of Perspektyva to the meeting.

The association, in its statement, said that it was puzzled by the Commission's decision and warned that if Mr. Shumchanka was not invited, it would send no delegation to Moscow altogether.

Perspektyva urged the Commission to make reasonable decisions instead of being guided by "rumors and allegations." It warned that the Commission's reputation and the resolution of key problems of Belarusian market vendors were at stake.

The meeting of the Commission's Advisory Council will focus on the Customs Union's new certification rules for imported clothing and footwear. Mr. Shumchanka was originally invited to attend the meeting.

Perspektyva has been fighting the introduction of the rules for Belarusian market vendors. Under pressure from the organization, the government postponed the introduction of the rules for market vendors until July 1, 2014, but the reprieve comes with conditions that are very difficult to fulfill.

Market vendors staged a one-day nationwide strike on June 27 in protest against the introduction of the new rules. //BelaPAN