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The Heavy Price of Belarusian Agriculture
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Belarus is one of the world's top 10 butter producing countries. However, such an achievement comes at a price - every year the agricultural sector in Belarus requires at least $750m on average in government subsidies. This is more than...
11 February 2016
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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Digest of Belarus Economy

The drop in oil prices in the first two weeks of January and the resulting volatility of the Belarusian rouble have taken centre stage. The Belarusian government took some small steps towards reforms, but took no serious measures to reform...

16 December 2015
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Can Belarus Authorities Prevent the Decline of Textile Manufacturers?

On 4 December, Aliaksandr Lukashenka cancelled his visit to JSC Kamvol, a major textile manufacturer located in Minsk. The president threatened to pay an unexpected visit to this state-owned enterprise in the future and denounced its attempts to cover up...

9 September 2015
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Opinion: Russia’s Troublesome Ally

Belarus’ strained relationship with Russia illustrates the contradictory relationship between its leadership and that in Moscow during the presidential election campaign. The problematic areas include the war in Ukraine and the closely related issue of collaboration in the military-industrial complex. In...

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...

21 July 2015
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Why Belarus Struggles to Stop Subsidising Its Enterprises

This month, the Belarusian Ministry of Finance will issue bonds for $425.8 million to bail out Gomselmash (abbreviation for Homiel Rural Machine Building), the most important industrial holding company of the second largest city in the country. The large...

26 August 2014
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Sanctions as New Opportunity, Less State Support for the Economy – Belarus Economy Digest

The National Bank continues to gradually reduce its refinancing rate. The latest reduction, which occurred in August 2014, may help make receiving financing for legal entities easier. And yet, despite their best intentions, these steps contribute to the accumulation of...

10 June 2014
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Belarus Government to Establish Serfdom in Agriculture?

On 27 May Lukashenka announced several radical initiatives that would virtually introduce serfdom into the nation's state-run farms. Two weeks later it remains unclear how serious Lukashenka was but the authorities like to resort to drastic administrative policies to regulate the economy.   In 2012, the government introduced...

4 February 2013
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The Belarus Privatisation Model

Each time the Belarusian economy hits a bump experts start to predict a forthcoming full-scale privatisation in Belarus. The logic is simple: when the level of subsidies from Russia diminishes and...

13 December 2012
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Why Belarusians Refuse to Work in Agriculture

Post-Soviet mass discourse often portrays Belarus as a country of villagers. A big deal of that comes from the image of president Lukashenka himself. He has been director of a farm in Eastern Belarus before going into high politics and is famous for...

3 October 2012
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Dazhynki Festival: Belarusian Tradition or Lukashenka’s Propaganda?

Seventy years ago, on 4 October 1942 German authorities organised Dazhynki festival in Minsk. It was the first time the festival took place in Belarus with the highest level of state support. On 21 September 2012 Aleksandr Lukashenka was opening a Dazhynki festival in...

1 October 2012
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The Rise and Fall of Affordable Housing in Belarus

Whether you arrive in Minsk from the airport, bus or railway station, one of the first things you notice is abundant construction. You will see construction sites almost everywhere. New shiny office buildings of glass and concrete grow in the...

9 February 2012
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PM Myasnikovich Reveals Collapse of Belarusian Agriculture

In 2011, Belarus lost more than a quarter of its cows. Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich, revealed this sad fact a week ago. He was bluntly exposing his country's illusory economic successes at a meeting with his colleagues.  One of...

5 January 2012
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The Reasons behind Putin’s Unprecedented Generosity Towards Lukashenka

In 2009-2010 the Russian government refused several times to transfer loans to Belarus when it failed to fulfill certain conditions. Then Putin insisted on the sales of Belarusian industrial enterprises to Russian companies. The Minister of Finance of Russia...

26 December 2011
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The Russian Expansion: Tricolor, Mercedes and a Three-Fold Increase in Salary

November and December events clearly show that Russia's policies towards Belarus are dictated primarily not by economic considerations but political. Russia is willing to spend billions of dollars in subsidies to keep the status quo in Belarus.  The European...