Belarus intends to distribute credit risks
On November 14th, Deputy Finance Minister Ermolovich announced that Belarus would place new Eurobond issue on the international financial market in 2015 worth circa USD 1 billion with 10-year maturity period. Belarus is issuing new bonds for private and legal persons in order to ensure she has enough resources to support her international reserves (this issue becomes crucial since Russia’s funding opportunities are limited). In addition, Belarusian state banks might attract syndicated loans, some state owned enterprises might be privatised and one or two large enterprises might announce IPO independently. The most desirable scenario is that one of the leading European banks becomes a shareholder in a Belarusian bank or that a new bank is founded, mainly with the European capital, which would attract cheap resources from the European market in order to modernise the Belarusian economy.
The Belarusian authorities have launched a discussion on the moratorium or abolition of the death penalty under the pressure of Belarusian human rights activists and international community. Apparently, the authorities are interested in monitoring public sentiments and response to the possible abolition of the capital punishment. The introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty would depend on the dynamics in Belarusian-European relations, efforts of the civil society organisations and Western capitals.
In Grodno last week, the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Belarus or introducing a moratorium was discussed.
The Belarusian authorities are likely to continue to support the death penalty in Belarus. During his rule, President Lukashenka pardoned only one person, and courts sentenced to death more than 400 people since the early 1990s. Over the past year, Belarusian courts sentenced to death several persons and one person was executed.
There are no recent independent polls about people’s attitude about the death penalty in Belarus. Apparently, this issue is not a priority for the population. In many ways, public opinion about the abolition of the death penalty would depend on the tone of the state-owned media reports.
That said, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church stand for the abolition of the capital punishment, however their efforts in this regard only limit to public statements about their stance. Simultaneously, the authorities could have influenced public opinion about the death penalty through a focused media campaign in the state media. As they did, for example, with the nuclear power plant construction in Astravets. Initially unpopular project of the NPP construction was broadly promoted in the state media, and eventually, according to independent pollsters, was accepted by most population.