E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 2, 2010 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic trends of February
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics

3.1. Transition of a misunderstanding into a problem and back
3.2. A meeting with Rothschild in Karl Marx Street
3.3. Good news from “Crown Plaza”
4. Economics
4.1. The Greek tragedy (a modern version)
4.2. A moronic growth
4.3. A change of the cognac trend
4.4. A non-elementary order
5. Finances
5.1. A very stable January
6. Good news
7. Our forecast for March


Dear readers!


A month has passed since the documents that changed the delivery terms of Russian oil to Belarus were signed. During this period of time the population and experts managed to examine the retail prices for petrochemical products. They have been increased by 7% since February, 27. Let us mention that it has already been the second increase since the beginning of the year. As for the rest, uncertainty predominates everywhere; however, it is not the uncertainty which is akin to the troubled waters in a slough. There are no people who would like to fish for profit in them, and that is why Russian companies abstain from delivering oil to Belarus so far.
From February, 3 to February, 15 an IMF mission was working in Minsk. Following the results of its work a decision on issuing the last, fifth, tranche of the credit at the rate of $700 mln must be made. No disturbed signals connected with the work of the mission came in; and just as we have supposed chairman of the National Bank P. Prokopovich should not have any particular reasons for worrying.
In spite of our hopes, Belarusian party did not manage to obtain a favor from “Gazprom” at the gas front. We assumed that having achieved what he wanted to in the oil “war”, V. Putin would let the Belarusian negotiators preserve their face in the gas “war”; however we have miscalculated. The gas price for Belarus in the first quarter made up 168 dollars for a thousand cubic meters. The Belarusian party continues to bargain offering to “Gazprom” various investment projects in the form of an additional bonus. The method, speaking frankly, is quite traditional. The outcome turns out to be traditional, too.
February did not let us draw the final conclusion concerning the election campaign. There are two possible options: 1) the elections are going to be held in the usual manner and 2) the authorities are going to permit a real political competition. Numerous facts of administrative pressure on opposition candidates, on members of their teams and even families testify in favor of the first option. Absence of serious problems by the opposition candidates when they were registering action groups of citizens who would collect signatures in their support is indicative of the second one. However, the main phase is ahead. The matter, of course, concerns forming of the polling station commissions. Nomination of representatives into polling station commissions should take place not later than on March, 7; forming-before March, 10.
Judging by the dynamics of the Belarusian-Polish conflict, a certain improvement has occurred in the relations with the West: on February, 24 in Kiev president A. Lukashenko and Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs R. Sikorski came to an agreement about forming of an experts’ committee which would assist in settling of various conflicts related to the Union of Poles. Renewal of the rhetoric concerning economic liberalization can also be attributed to the authorities’ “sobering up”. Vice-premier A. Kobyakov and Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs A. Tur took upon themselves the role of the main moderators having promised to produce before long another plan on further economy liberalization.

IISEPS executive board

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