«INFOFOCUS» bulletin No. 4 (180), 2017

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, No. 4, 2017 – ISSN 1822-5578
(only Russian)


1. Basic trends of March
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. Belarusian Caesar
3.2. The dawn of Belarusian petro state
4. Economics
4.1. 100 days of Trumponomics
4.2. Best government in the world
4.3. Calendar factor and economic growth
5. Finances
5.1. Lost financial “upshot”
6. Our forecast for May
7. From the IISEPS desktop


Dear readers

On April 21 Alexander Lukashenko made a speech to the Belarusian people and the National Assembly. There were no surprises. The first year of the fifth 5-year period did not become crucial in attempts to overcome negative trends, that is why, as we forecasted, economic questions were sidelined in the Message-2017. The head of state started his speech with an ascertaining of quick changes in the modern world that are directed “not towards stability and safety”, and ended it with an emotional demand to Europeans to “stop goading us”. He explained that “we are not idiots; we see by ourselves what is going on in the European Union”.

Despite our forecast, on April 13 (10 days after the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko in St. Petersburg) a set of documents, regulating the discords between Russia and Belarus in oil-and-gas branch, was signed. There were no scandals at this time. A legal closure was brought to the longest oil-and-gas “war”. However, we are still concerned that it wasn’t the end of the “war”, but only the end of one of its stages. For the first time in the history of Belarusian-Russian relations the sixth “war” ended with an almost complete defeat of Belarus. A patchwork peace is undoubtedly preferable to a rapture, but Belarusian model has very little chances to survive in the world after April 13.

Our doubts regarding governmental report “in an extended format” were justified. Belarusian bureaucratic machine turned out to be unable to organize two large-scale events in one month. But the question of the “extended report” is still topical, and Lukashenko reminded about it in his speech on April 21.

The case of White Legion did not fall into pieces, but made it to the next level: charges under Part 3 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code (training or other preparation of persons to participate in “mass riots”, as well as financing or other material support of such activities) were extended with charges under Art. 287 (organizing an illegal armed group). This is the first time that a criminal case with these charges is opened in Belarus. The crime is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

As for the protests actions, after the brutal actions of the power during Freedom Day on March 25, they are on the wane. The “mass” character of “Chernobyl Way 2017” (between 200 and 300 people) on April 26 confirmed our forecast.

IISEPS board