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Belarusian Economy A Month Before the Elections – Digest of the Belarusian Economy
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In the last month before the Presidential elections, the Belarusian economy continues to disappoint. Although decline in GDP has slowed, the -3.5 per cent growth has failed to impress. The Belarusian rouble continues to depreciate as oil prices plunge. The...
28 September 2015
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Why Belarusians Stay Away from the Belarusian Rouble

On 16 September a new regulation of the National Bank of Belarus on currency transactions came into effect. It forced all consulates in Belarus to suspend their activities for a few days in order for them to invent new...

23 September 2015
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Belarusian Milk Exports: Success in the East, Failure in the West

On 17 September, Alexander Lukashenka publicly explained to Vladimir Putin the process of milk production and to Nursultan Nazarbayev the functioning of the market economy. In this way the Belarusian state leader responded to critics who have questioned the...

15 September 2015
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Looking Back at Lukashenka’s Fourth Term

On 11 September candidates for Belarusian president officially started their campaigns. From the previous presidential campaign slogan “For independent, strong and prosperous Belarus”, Lukashenka left only “independent”. In order to buy voters in 2010, Lukashenka embarked on excessive wage growth...

14 September 2015
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China as An Epic Failure of Belarusian Foreign Policy

On Friday, President Lukashenka announced that the promised Chinese loan of $7billion would help Belarus cope with the current crisis. A week before this announcement, he had gone to China for his eighth visit to Beijing. Is Belarus succeeding in...

10 September 2015
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Are Housing Utilities about to Become Market-Based?

On 14 August the Belarusian government approved a plan to increase tariffs on housing utilities to their full market cost. The state wants Belarusians to live under market conditions in five years time, which means tripling utility bills by...

8 September 2015
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The Economy Gets Used to Sustained Recession – Belarus Economy Digest

The Belarusian economy keeps on contracting: in January-July it decreased by 4 per cent. However, a number of positive trends have arisen: wages and employment are stabilising, along with improvements in current account balances. The latter might signal an imminent...

3 September 2015
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Belarusian Roads: Good Quality, Bad Service

At the end of July the Minister of Transport Anatol Sivak reported to Lukashenka on important road projects in Belarus, including a second ring road around Minsk and a road toll system. Belarusian roads have became a brand in post-Soviet...

31 August 2015
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Why Belarusians Prefer to Shop in Poland and Lithuania?

In July the Ministry of Trade announced a plan to levy a tax on online purchases in foreign shops​. Since then the state agencies have been elaborating the methods that will be used for tax collection. It could become...

26 August 2015
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How Russia’s Subsidies Save the Belarusian Economy

On 24 August, the Brent oil price fell to $43, which was close to a 7-year low. Although Belarus has not got its own crude oil, this is terrible news for its economy. The cheaper the oil, the lower...

24 August 2015
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Humanism or Political Calculation: Why Did Lukashenka Pardon Political Prisoners?

On 22 August, the state-run news agency Belta reported that “based on the principle of humanism” the President of Belarus decided to pardon and release from prison former presidential candidate Mikalaj Statkevich and five other opposition figures. Lukashenka is trying...

19 August 2015
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Russian Loans for Belarus: Postponing The Transition

On 28 July Belarus received a long-awaited loan from the Russian government worth $760 million. This was just in time to transfer the funds to the pockets of other borrowers - on the same day Belarus was due to...

18 August 2015
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Belarus and Russian Food Embargo: a Success Story?

Belarus became the primary beneficiary of the food embargo, which Russia imposed against Western nations in August 2014. In January – May 2015, Belarus supplied 916.4 thousand tons of embargoed products to Russia, a 53.5% increase over the same...

14 August 2015
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The Myth of Thriving Belarusian Agriculture

Agriculture was the fastest growing branch of the Belarusian economy in the first half of 2015. Many in Russia and other post-Soviet countries consider Belarus to be a model when it comes to maintaining a viable agricultural sector. But in...

5 August 2015
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Why Are Belarusian Economic Forecasts Constantly Inaccurate?

According to the official five-year Socio-Economic Development Programme For 2011-2015 the GDP was supposed to increase by 62-68 per cent by the end of 2015. In reality, the growth is likely to hit around 6...