E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 1, 2009 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


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

3.1. As good as his word
3.2. In expectation of the Shklov paper
3.3. Resting on four percent
4. Economics
4.1. As Cinderella after midnight
4.2. About screw-nuts and a spanner
4.3. About screw-nuts and a spanner–2
5. Finances
5.1. A clear response to a rapid change
5.2. We have already spent the first tranche
5.3. “Prices must…”
6. Good news
7. Our forecast for February


Dear readers!

In the December issue of the “Infofocus” we extended the time limits of the forecast and tried to estimate the tendencies of the approaching year. Let us quote, in particular, the last paragraph: “The political crisis is going to become apparent in weakening of the authorities. They will become surprisingly responsive to the demands of the outside donors, which we have already observed at the end of 2008”.
The Belarusian ruble “had responded” to the demands of the IMF already on January, 2 before the ink managed to dry out, as the saying goes. It is stated directly in the official explanation published by the press-cutting service of the president that devaluation became the consequence of the IMF consent to give credit at the rate of $ 2.5 bln. Moreover, in spite of the objection on the part of the National bank, it was conducted in a “single-stage way”.
In December we agreed with the head of the Belarusian state that “the next year is going to be difficult” and shared the apprehension of the Russian economist A.  Illarionov concerning the singularity of the world crisis trajectory. In January the singularity showed in the following: each subsequent prognosis of such trustworthy international organizations as the UNO and IMF proved to be still more pessimistic. The December statistics, Belarusian as well as the world’s, only confirmed the pessimism: manufacturing output in Russia had reduced by 8%! The last time a similar reduction was observed in autumn of 1941! The same showing for Belarus constituted 7.2%. Against the background of the cited statistics inadequacy of the Belarusian leadership regarding the processes developing in the country and in the world became especially evident, that is why in the January issue of the “Infofocus” we had to revert to that topic once again (see “Resting on four percent”).
In January, perhaps as never before, the Belarusian leadership strived for realizing the slogan “Belarus – a European state”, at that constantly emphasizing incompatibility of their value system with the European one. It did not lead to aggravation of relations as today in the West they understand very well the economic situation prevalent in Belarus and the opportunities it renders for the influence on the Belarusian leadership. As an illustration of such understanding we should mention the beginning of negotiations in Minsk with representatives of the European Bank for reconstruction and development on account of the $ 1 bln credit.
Rescue of the “Belarusian economic model of development” by means of liberalization continued in January. A whole package of documents was passed, among which “Plan-52” and Decree №1 should be mentioned in the first place. However, it did not prevent simultaneous deploying of a purely administrative war against prices. On the other hand, the policy of regular matching of two incompatible components “in one” is traditional for the Belarusian leadership and therefore does not surprise us any more.

IISEPS executive board

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