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BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 3

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 3, 2012 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)

Content:

Introduction
1. Basic trends of March
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. In search of civilizational distinctness
3.2. Sacralization of the innovation fund
3.3. “What is at issue is only the price”
4. Economics
4.1. Positive economic information against negative financial one
4.2. Economic consequences of an election campaign
4.3. Labor productivity – in the morning, salary – in the evening
5. Finances
5.1. Compulsion to reforms
6. Our forecast for April
7. From the IISEPS desktop

Introduction:

Dear readers!

 

Judging by A. Lukashenko’s statements made at the meeting on foreign policy questions on April, 5, Belarusian-European confrontation passed its apogee in March, just as we had predicted in our February forecast. International one-wing (Russian) flights are dangerous for Belarusian authorities. Another conflict of economic players (air carriers) showed it clearly. Belarusian elite justifies the geopolitical choice in favor of Russia by the cultural and historical unity of the two fraternal peoples. The unity is incontrovertible; and the absence of ability to dialog by the bearers of Belarusian, as well as of Russian culture, is a particular element of the unity. That is why it is no coincidence that contemporary history of Belarusian-Russian relations is not least of all history of “wars” among economic players. Conflicts with the states of the West develop not on the basis of community, but on the basis of fundamental difference of cultures, that is why they take place in the sphere of politics.
Our forecast concerning the conclusions which the mission of the International Monetary Fund would come to was fully confirmed: on March, 6 in the course of a meeting with journalists, head of the mission Ch. Jarvis said that at the given stage the Fund had refused a loan to Belarus. The reason is not new either: experts of the organization taught by their bitter experience in the previous program do not trust promises of the government any more. To continue the negotiations consent of all governmental bodies, “including the ones at the highest level”, is required. It means negotiations are possible against the guarantees of reforms implementation provided personally by president A. Lukashenko.
However, our optimism provoked by the problems with the IMF, did not come true regarding receipt of the third tranche of the EurAsEC anti-crisis fund loan. In March events developed on the principle formulated already by O. Bender in his time: “Be quiet, you fool, I am telling you in the Russian language – tomorrow means tomorrow. So long! Write me a letter!” In compliance with the given principle Belarusian government has prepared a draft of a new letter of intent, and experts of the EurAsEC anti-crisis fund got down to studying it.
V. Putin’s third presidential term was predictable. Just as we had surmised, it did not tell on Belarusian-Russian relations in any way. One undoubtedly should not count one’s chickens before they are hatched; however, the present format of relations (the Customs Union and Common Free Market Zone) was laid with very active participation of V. Putin-the-prime minister, that is why V. Putin-the-president has no reason to introduce any fundamental adjustments in the relations built personally by him. Contrary to our presentiments, the coming of spring did not provoke emissive activity of the government and the National Bank. To all appearances, the lesson of 2010-2012 profited them. Any authoritarian power finally sets itself against objective limiting factors, which it cannot ignore without consequences fatal for itself. It is not ruled out that Belarusian authoritarianism has entered a new stage of its development which considerably increases unpredictability even in the short-run.
Unfortunately, information about preparation of lists of opposition politicians restricted to travel abroad was fully confirmed. The threats materialized into concrete anti-constitutional actions. The authorities once again confirmed they are not able to build relations with political opponents inside the country remaining at that within the legal framework.

IISEPS executive board

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