E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 2, 2015 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic trends of February
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. Efficiency problem of the unitary enterprise “Belarus”
3.2. A. Lukashenko brought back who’s the main ideologist in the country
4. Economics
4.1. America as the only locomotive
4.2. Recession is more difficult to forecast than rise
4.3. Staff changes in economy
5. Finances
5.1. National Bank’s interests vs. government’s interests
6. Our forecast for March
7. From the IISEPS desktop


Dear readers!
As we’ve assumed it, administrative ecstasy, which seized the officials of the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Economy in February, reached its peak. Amid the economy crisis the power rushes from one populist measure to another; and price regulation has always been the pinnacle of populism.
The key document of the month is a new clarification to the decree 1207. In particular, this document allows manufacturers to increase selling prices by the amount of change in the prices of raw materials received after December 18, 2015. We assess this document as an intermediate victory of economical logic over administrative logic.
Administrative ecstasy didn’t prevent the prices from growing in February. Belstat informs us: “Consumer price index in January 2015 amounted to 102.4% relatively to December 2014”. On an annualized basis inflation amounted to 17.1% relatively to January 2014. Foodstuff went up by 1.8% in January, non-food goods went up by 2.4%. Prices and tariffs of fee-based services went up by 3.9%. So the price hike is bigger for government services.
In February the number of financial news was significantly greater than the number of economical news. And we were right about it. The main information is that Belarusian government had asked Russian government for a financial support of $ 2.5 billion. Several well-informed sources told this to TUT.BY.
There was no positive answer from Russia yet, but we gave them two or three months before the final positive decision in our forecast for February.
In February independent mass media once again touched upon the question of “little green men” and their ability to reiterate their Crimean success in Belarus. This time the main newsmaker was the analytical laboratory of Andrei Vardomatski. Their December survey registered a 7-point-increase of Belarusians’ fears of Russia annexing Belarus of its part (November – 13%, December – 20%).
Such a significant change however doesn’t reverse our skepticism about these fears. We haven’t also noted any practical steps from Russia in this direction.
IISEPS executive board

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