Alexander Lukashenko’s administrative tools to stimulate exports
On 6 March Alexander Lukashenko signed a Decree No 126 to regulate the granting of export credits by banks.
For instance, the document provides for the granting of export credits in Belarusian rubles by banks with the interest rate of two-thirds of the discount rate of the National Bank. It also provides for compensation of losses to banks due to the provision of export credit in the loan’s foreign currency, extension of the waiting period of completion of the foreign trade operations and the payment of insurance indemnity under an insurance contract of export risks secured by the state without permission of the National Bank. In order to reduce the time of issue of export credits, the decree envisages that the compensation of losses to banks from the provision of export credit up to USD 500,000 in equivalent, will be authorized by the Finance Ministry’s and adopted following a procedure established by the Government of the Republic of Belarus. Thus, the planned growth of exports will be achieved via administrative support and concessional lending.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.