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BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 12

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 12, 2013 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)

Content:

Introduction
1. Basic trends of December
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. How much do the “keepers of our hearts and souls” earn?
3.2. Who will pay for the geopolitical choice of Ukraine?
4. Economics
4.1. Shale revolution and new reality
4.2. The year unjustified hopes
4.3. We could, if only…
5. Finances
5.1. The Russian factor of the Belarusian financial stability
6. Our forecast for January
7. From the IISEPS desktop

Introduction:

Dear readers!
Our forecast for 2013 on the whole was proved true. On the one hand, we didn’t feel optimistic about the success of state enterprises modernization and Napoleonic plans for GDP growth, and on the other hand, we didn’t share the alarmist moods of certain independent economists predicting that ruble exchange rate will achieve the level of 14.000 by summer. However we hoped that the failure of modernization policy will force the power to start revision, even if fragmentary, of the economic policy developed over the last two decades. Everything seemed to be going in this direction. In October the government and the National Bank approved a revolutionary (by the Belarusian standards) joint plan. But after the power have pledged, they haven’t hedged. The plan kind of exists, but there is no information on its realization.
Where we’ve made a mistake is A. Lukashenko’s electoral rating. It didn’t reach a new historical minimum as during the first three quarters it grew up and fell only in the fourth. In the course of the year the rating dynamics was defined by the salary dynamics. This is quite natural. But we’ve made a mistake concerning the dynamics of the salary. After the crisis of 2011 it was difficult to suppose that the power will decide on its rapid growth again.
As for the forecast concerning the dynamics of social indexes and A. Lukashenko’s electoral rating made in November, it was completely proved true. All three social indices decreased considerably, and the rating got reduced by 7.8 points (from 42.6% to 34.8%). We believe we have not made a mistake predicting not just a temporary decrease in social indices and rating, but a beginning of a new trend.
Belarusian socio-economic model lacks of internal resources to maintain the electoral rating of its architect. Since long ago its dynamics is a derivative of the quantity of Russian grants, which in its turn is dictated by the policy of a “short leash”: Russia constantly makes concessions to Belarus, but only in the size allowing the republic to avoid economic collapse. Another judgment of Solomon about the oil, as we have expected, was made in Moscow in December. Russia agreed to deliver the amount of oil requested by Belarus (23 million tons), but the delivery schedule was prepared only for six months.

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