Austrian prosecutors to probe Belarusian president's Alps trip
Austrian prosecutors have opened an investigation into Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko`s trip to an Austrian ski resort while he was barred entry to the European Union, a Russian respected daily said on Wednesday, according to RIA Novosti.
Kommersant said the Belarusian president, his sons and several officials paid a visit to Austria in 2002 at the invitation of former Austrian National Olympic Committee chairman and Casinos Austria owner Leo Wallner.
Lukashenko was invited to Austria as the head of the former Soviet state`s Olympic Committee rather than the head of state.
According to the investigation, some 200,000 euros were spent by the Austrian side on Lukashenko`s vacation. Austrian media reports claim that Casinos Austria paid the bills.
Wallner said the visit was organized in the interests of the Austrian side, but denied to comment further.
According to Belarusian media, several large Belarusian companies, including mobile provider Velcom, Belarusian metallurgical complex and Minsk cycling transport plant were transferred to Austrian entrepreneurs after the trip.
Salzburg prosecutors will also investigate these deals.