E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 3, 2013 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic trends of March
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. Manichaean’s “we” are always on the side of Light
3.2. High quality, cheap and unclaimed haydite
4. Economics
4.1. Cyprus is Lehman Brothers of Europe
4.2. The Russian version of Belarusian problems
4.3. The sharp outline of a turning point
5. Finances
5.1. A spoon of optimism in a barrel of pessimism
6. Our forecast for April
7. From the IISEPS desktop


Dear readers!


The level of daily consumption of cognac as the leading economic indicator for making economic and social and political forecasts worked well. If in January Belarusians consumed 0.89 thousand dl of cognac per day, then in February they consumed 1.01 thousand dl (+13.5%). February is a month of the nation-wide holiday. How could one not celebrate it?! Similar dynamics was observed at the beginning of 2012. However, the daily rate of cognac consumption in February of the previous year made up only 0.67 thousand dl. Consumer preferences of Belarusians changed in full conformity with our forecast based on the cognac indicator. Let us bolster the aforesaid with a quote from the March roundup of the Ministry of Economic Affairs: “Growth of the population’s cash income influenced to a certain extent refocusing of buying preferences on purchasing better quality foreign-made goods. The share of home-produced goods sold retail by trade bodies decreased in comparison with January and February of 2012 by 3.7% and made up 71% (food commodities – 82.4% at 83.9% for two months of 2012, and nonfood goods – 55.3% at 61.4% among other things)”. However sluggishly, but A. Lukashenko’s electoral rating also responded to the cognac indicator. In comparison with December, 2012 it increased by 1.9 points and made up 33.4%.
The head of state spent the second half of March on foreign visits. In his absence leaders of the government economic bloc demonstrated optimism concerning the near-term prospect of the Belarusian economy rather unanimously and therefore did not confirm our forecast. However, in March Belarusian officials’ optimism was made up for by the pessimism of the officials from international financial organizations. In particular, head of the IMF mission in Belarus D. Hoffman expressed his reservations about the country’s ability to demonstrate an explosive rate of economic growth in the current year. Experts of the Eurasian Development Bank also mentioned incompatibility of the economic growth and financial stability in another roundup of the CIS countries’ economies.
The fuel and energy balance of Belarus and Russia never got to be signed in March. Another portion of our pessimism proved true in this sense. The absence of balance, however, did not prevent Belarusian negotiators from obtaining by bargaining even more favorable conditions of oil delivery for the second quarter than for the first one. Having satisfied the quarterly demand of the Belarusian party Russia nonetheless reminded its only ally through the Ministry of Energy about the nonfulfillment of delivery obligations concerning supplying the Russian market with petrochemicals produced from the Russian duty-free oil. The events thereby are developing according to the-same-old-megilla scenario.
IISEPS executive board

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