Infofocus N3

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 3, 2016 – ISSN 1822-5578
(only Russian)


1. Basic trends of March
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. “Our petrol, your ideas”
3.2. Problems of a talented man-of-the-people
4. Economics
4.1. Oil market pushed away from the bottom
4.2. If it were not for multiple “if’s”
4.3. No upper salary limit for people willing to work
5. Finances
5.1. The power is losing people’s trust
6. Our forecast for April
7. From the IISEPS desktop


Dear readers!

As we had supposed it in December, March IISEPS survey put an end to social trends of the last two years. Anomaly, generated by “Crimeaisours”, lasted for two years, but finally exhausted its mobilization resource. Taking into account the continuing decrease of real incomes of people, another devaluation-like leap in the beginning of the first quarter and information from Russian sociologic services, it wasn’t difficult to predict Belarusians’ reaction. It was unexpected only for the official Belarusian sociology.
On March 30 BELTA informed the world that Belarusian sociologic services don’t consider results of IISEPS surveys trustworthy. Director of Informational and Analytical Center A. Derbin and Director of Institute of Sociology of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus I. Kotlyarov hurried to deny the information about the decrease of level of trust to the power and the head of state. According to information, made public by the distinguished specialists, in March in all regional centers, regional cities and villages majority of Belarusians (64.8%) trust the head of state.
According to IISEPS results, over the first quarter A. Lukashenko’s rating of trust decreased from 45.4% to 41.7%, while his electoral rating decreased from 33.3% to 27.3%. We predicted these dynamics in our forecast for March.
Clearly, communal tariffs hike in February contributed its mite into the change of social moods. A. Lukashenko’s attempts to play the part of people’s defender from greedy bureaucracy for another time had likely made the opposite effect this time.
In the first quarter, in concordance with our forecast, Belarusians were barren of possibility to watch the hours-long press-conference of the head of state. Let us remind you, that in January 2015 “open and constructive discussion” with the representatives of Belarusian and foreign mass media lasted 7 hours and 7 minutes. Another record which surprised nobody, because “Past year [2014] was abundant in events”. Judging by the lacking discussion with journalists, year 2015 was eventless. Except, maybe, for presidential elections. But in Belarus elections of any level are not an event since log ago, and we constantly remind our readers about it.
On March 30 Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development transferred the first tranche of the loan to Belarus ($ 500 billion). “Diplomacy of smiles”, kicking into gear in the Western political direction, didn’t stop Belarus from taking money from the East. The idea of Russian air-base in Belarus quietly disappeared in the shadows. According to our perception of the nature of relations between Belarus and Russia such a payment from Belarus for economic help from Russia is highly unlikely. This hypothesis is confirmed by the practice.
Our forecast regarding the decrease of average salary below $ 300 in the next few months did not come true. This is not related to a sudden leap of efficiency of Belarusian model. There was a growth of oil prices in March, and this led to a strengthening of the Russian ruble and, therefore, the Belarusian ruble (exchange rate dropped from 21,506 rubles for 1 dollar on March 1 down to 20,139 rubles on April 1). Hence the salaries in dollar equivalent didn’t fall.

IISEPS executive board