E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 1, 2015 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic trends of January
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. Revelations of the most important TV viewer of the country
3.2. “We had scarcely stood on our own feet when there was a new collapse…”
4. Economics
4.1. BRICS’ problems amid economic success of the USA
4.2. Short-term approach instead of long-term strategy
4.3. Belarus is ranked among the countries with “suppressed economy”
5. Finances
5.1. Gold and foreign currency reserves hit another minimum
6. Our forecast for February
7. From the IISEPS desktop


Dear readers!
Our January forecast started with an optimistic statement of A. Lukashenko on the absence of “reasons for a price hike in the country”. Personally we had no grounds for this optimism, and we’ve admitted it frankly in December. Unfortunately, the head of state didn’t find time to explain his optimism. What were his grounds is an enigma which couldn’t have been solved either by oppositional analytics or even by the Ministry of Trade officials. Otherwise how could you explain the words of Deputy Trade Minister I. Narkevich: “The economic situation right now is, well, the President has told to tighten the belts. The question is has everyone tightened their belts? Belarusian wholesalers, big businesses, that take part in our meetings, they say that it’s hard to keep to [the new rules of price formation], but there are reserves to do it”.
All the January Narkevich and C° tried to restrain the price hike in retail trade. As of the time of completion of the January issue of “Infofocus” official statistics haven’t published the results of administrative efforts of officials in specific figures. They will be available in February, and it is very probable that they won’t confirm the head of state’s optimism.
Almost in every public speech A. Lukashenko confirms our hypothesis on the substitution of the social contract expressed by “loyalty in return for income growth” by the social contract expressed by “loyalty in return for survival”. Let us limit ourselves to a single example taken from the New Year greetings: “We saw for ourselves what internal feuding, hatred and intolerance lead to. The line between bright and loud slogans and society split is very thin. The line between this split and a war is even thinner. And if people forget about the value of peace and consent, they cross all these lines in a blink of an eye. Seven decades ago we’d paid for peace with millions of human lives. Belarusians know the value of peace and up until today they keep an anxious attitude towards it”.
In the absence of stamped paper you have to use regular one. In the absence of resources you have to base the social contract on genetic ability of Belarusians to have an anxious attitude to peace. We suppose that this will be enough for solving the issue of maintaining the power in 2015.
Since January 1 Eurasian Economic Union started to function. But as we’ve supposed it, it didn’t add any fundamental improvements to Belarusian-Russian relations. Trade wars are an obligatory attribute of them. And these wars cannot be eliminated by any integration projects. January “exchanges of fire” in relation to the quality of Belarusian goods confirmed this once again.
In December we expressed doubt that Russian political expert G. Pavlovsky’s fears about “reliable ally (A. Lukashenko) turning into an enemy” were well grounded. There were no according signals in January. We hope there will be no such signals in February as well.
Tax on foreign currency purchases didn’t even live up to the 1st of February, just as we’ve supposed it. Its negative influence on the economy was evident.
IISEPS executive board

Download full version (in Russian only)