E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 12, 2007 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic trends of December
2. Chronicle of key events
3. The New Year’s report
4. Economics

4.1. Optimists and pessimists
4.2. His Majesty plan
5. Finances
5.1. November sufferings against the background of credit generosity
6. Politics
6.1. Under the regulations of a special operation
6.2. A test for the authorities
7. Good news
8. Our forecast for January
9. From the IISEPS Desktop


Dear readers!


Taking into account the last year’s experience with its difficult negotiations with “Gazprom” (to put it more precisely with the Kremlin) we supposed the struggle for a new gas price to become the main event of the last month of 2007. Let us remember our forecast: “We are supporters of an optimistic prognosis that is why we suppose the rise in gas prices is going to be quite moderate. “An elegant victory” of the Russian authorities’ party at the parliamentary elections cost a lot in the direct as well as in the figurative sense (manipulations of the public opinion on such a scale can never be cheap). Ahead are the presidential elections which Russian analysts have christened “Problem 2008″ not accidentally. Under such conditions the Kremlin will most likely try to minimize outward reasons for instability and will not allow another conflict”.
As for the gas price, our prognosis, as well as the prognosis of the government, proved to be correct. Vice-prime minister of Belarus V. Semashko announced that the upper verge of the price would not exceed $ 119.5 already on November, 29. The bottom limit was also mentioned in his prognosis, however they did not manage “to beat the price down for $ 7-8 more”. How long will the agreed price of $ 119 “hold out”, it is still a question; Putin’s guarantee is valid only during the first quarter of the year. That is why economic uncertainty of Belarus is going to remain in the near future, however only for independent analysts, as we are sure that in the course of V. Putin’s meeting with A. Lukashenko the price problem has been agreed to for the whole year of 2007 and, perhaps, for a much longer period right up to the moment when prices will reach “the European level”.
It will become clear within the time immediately ahead, whether we are right or not, as behavior of the government officials and A. Lukashenko will in many respects be determined by December agreements.
Our forecast concerning personnel decision at the conference of the BNF Party (Belarusian People’s Front) has only partly come true. As we had presumed, the party steering wheel found itself “in the hands of a politician, representing the older generation”. However, it goes without saying that neither we, nor anybody of the conference participants could assume such a dashingly woven plot a day before the conference beginning. Whether L. Borschevsky is able to bring dynamism in the once popular party and help it out to the level adequate to the objectives Belarus is facing at the moment, it is a question an answer to which will become clear already in January or February.
Finally let us remind you our New Year’s forecast: “By tradition several minutes before the New Year president A. Lukashenko is going to address the nation. Key points which he will highlight at that, will give additional information about the state of the Belarusian authorities. We can assume with great likelihood that the head of state will talk about the forthcoming economic hardship, about the internal and external enemies whom the Belarusian people will give an adequate answer at the autumn parliamentary elections”.
As a whole, we were right. However, A. Lukashenko being enveloped in recurrent aggravation of relations with the West and not having calmed down after the negotiations with the Russian president limited himself solely to the external enemies and did not remember the impending parliamentary elections of 2008.

IISEPS executive board

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