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Car Owners In Belarus Protest Gas Price Hike


A poster for the protest in a car window

A poster for the protest in a car window

MINSK -- Car owners in Belarus have started a campaign to protest an abrupt rise in the price of gasoline, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

In January, one liter of gasoline cost 2,470 Belarusian rubles ($0.82). Today the same amount costs 2,870 Belarusian rubles ($0.95) -- an increase of about 16 percent.

The organizers of the protest action, the slogan for which is "Stop-Gasoline, We Are Not Milk Cows!" are buying only 2 liters of gasoline at filling stations belonging to the state company Belnaftakhim.

They plan to stop using private cars as of June 4 and switch to public transportation instead.

Kanstantsin Mikhailau, one of the protest coordinators, told RFE/RL that the protesters' main goal is not to damage the economy, but to ensure that the government is aware of the problem.

He said the protest was not confined to Minsk. Similar protests are taking place in all major cities and towns across the country. He added that tens of thousands of activists were participating.

The protesters handed a written statement to the presidential administration and Belnaftakhim management today, demanding "a full and detailed explanation of the gasoline price increase."
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