E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 5, 2007 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic Trends of May
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Economics

3.1. Eight out of nineteen
3.2. Lamentation for wages
3.3. In the posture of crouch start
4. Finances
4.1. Just surplus
5. Politics
5.1. Russia-Belarus relations
5.2. Meeting of brain friends
5.3. Expected answer
5.4. Argument of Deputy Glukhovski
5.5. Congress of Democratic Forces
5.6. Good news
6. Our forecast for June
7. From the IISEPS Desktop


Dear readers!


Review of the 1st quarter results which we predicted for April was unexpectedly delayed till May. In April A. Lukashenko came out in public with the Annual Address in his peculiar manner. The very title – Positive Optimism – excluded any criticism of the Government. In May the need in this kind of optimism wasn’t that acute, and the head of state suddenly found out that eight out of nineteen basic indicators weren’t achieved.
The January crisis in Russia-Belarus relations was gradually outweighed by current events. Like we predicted, “disappointment in Russia” lost its topicality, yet “fear of aggravating economic situation” didn’t varnish. The opinion poll conducted by the IISEPS in May revealed a surprising fact: for the first time over recently index of trust to non-state mass media boosted higher than that of the state-run media. This re-shuffle occurred at the background of falling trust to the majority of state-run institutions and simultaneous growth of trust to non-state institutions. In our opinion, this is the result of the oil and gas war, the informational component of which was totally lost by the Belarusian authorities. Under crisis, they showed their inability to carry an open dialogue with the society, which generated the need in alternative sources of information.
The data on foreign economic activity received in May proved the trend to growth of deficit in foreign trade. This hasn’t yet affected the inflation. What’s more, abatement of prices by 0.2% was registered in April for the first time in this year. Experts explain this paradox with the end of heating season.
As far as oil delivery to Belarus is concerned, the problem wasn’t settled over the past month. However, as we predicted, the president signed the decree on compensation to Belarusian refineries of a great part of expenses for oil delivery due to introduction of import duty on Russian oil. This didn’t bring to considerable changes though. Customer-supplied oil still doesn’t come into the country. In May, Belarusian Oil Company was registered which was an expected event. This new Belarusian state-run monopolist in the field of crude oil import and export of oil products will start its work on July 1. It has turned out that they cannot find a suitable candidature for the position of its director so far. As the recent events showed (arrest of Belneftekhim’s director), work in this sector of the market is not only difficult but dangerous as well.
Looking onto Russia, no radical changes happened in this direction. A. Lukashenko from time to time made unfriendly statements concerning its only ally but they were openly ignored in the Kremlin. The top-level meeting was never held. The problem of $1.5 million credit hasn’t yet been solved, but there are some incremental changes in this direction. It is entirely possible that sale of Beltransgaz’ shares played its role to help this.
In the end of May, Congress of Democratic Forces was held in Minsk. As we suggested, organizational issue was solved not in favor of A. Milinkevich. After hot debates the Congress adopted the strategy developed by analytical group of the United Civil Party, the Minor Constitution – almost without the discussion, and the economic platform of democratic forces.

IISEPS executive board

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