E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 2, 2009 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


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

3.1. An alliance of dictatorships
3.2. Without intermediaries
4. Economics
4.1. Economics has begun to revive
4.2. In the Ministry of Emergency Situations mode
5. Finances
5.1. The January groundwork
5.2. From the single-stage to the gradual one
6. Good news
7. Our forecast for March


Dear readers!


The economic crisis scale was not realized by the leadership of Belarus during the last winter month either. From this follows the strategy expounded already by the writer A. Gaidar in his famous anti-bourgeois fairy tale: we only need to stand for a day and to hold out for a night. At that, the matter does not at all concern any structural transformations as the most important thing is “to maintain the production”. In the opinion of the head of the Belarusian state the terms of “maintenance” will not transcend the first half-year, and taking into account the fact that all people “have lost their heart, especially private entrepreneurs abroad”, the Belarusians are going to get a real opportunity to occupy the niches of the western motor builders and auto makers already this year and to become “considerably richer” as a result of it. Such comprehension of what is going on in the world and in Belarus, as we have supposed, lets the authorities continue distributing guarantees concerning carrying out of the social obligations taken over at the time previous to the crisis.
Once again a “misfire” occurred regarding the announcement of the gas price. Today the word “transparency” is quite fashionable. The authoritarian regimes, and founders of the Union state are exactly the ones, have never been registered as being disposed to this very transparency, however keeping one’s mouth shut as far as the gas price is concerned has very likely surpassed all conceivable limits. Probably, we are not going to learn the price anyway. On the other hand, judging by the statement of the prime-minister S. Sidorsky, its average value during the year will constitute $ 148 for a 1000 cubic meters. Thus, our forecast that in the price argument the victory would be gained by the Belarusian part may be considered come true.
We were a hundred percent sure of the second part of the Russian credit transfer. It seemed there were no reasons to doubt it. However, when the work on the February issue of the “Infofocus” was being completed, the money from Russia had not come yet. Moreover, it was decided in Moscow to pay the remained billion by two tranches. Most likely the problems in this case are purely technical and that is why it is not worth looking for a hidden political motive in what has happened. As for the additional credit equaling to 100 bln RUR, the first reassuring pieces of news were received from Russia in February. Particularly, according to the words of the Russian presidential aide S. Prikhodko, Russia “considers the requests of Belarus concerning additional crediting… We do not refuse talking on the subject of credits; however it is necessary to understand that this money should be spent on maintenance of our mutual collaboration, of our partnership potential”.
Our prognosis regarding diplomatic activity in the western direction has been completely realized. Perhaps, nothing can be compared to the February burst. Only think of the visit of the EU High Representative Javier Solana to Minsk! The authorities also had to make other concessions to their political opponents. In particular, the first organizational meeting of the Public-advisory council involving the civil society representatives took place in Minsk in the Palace of the Republic. The Council of Ministers offered president of the Belarusian association of journalists (BAJ) Zh. Litvina, editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Komsomolskaya pravda” in Belarus” E. Mironova and editor-in-chief of “Narodnaya volya” I. Seredich to be part of the public coordinating council in the field of mass information. The constituent congress of the party “Belarusian Christian democracy” (BCD) which occurred on the last day of February in the Palace of culture of the Minsk tractor plant should also be mentioned.
However, the Belarusian ruble did not fall to the point mentioned by us. On the last day of February in exchange offices one dollar cost 2850 BYR (the forecast – 3000).

IISEPS executive board

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