Belarus is seeking additional revenues due to reduced proceeds from export duties
In 2016, the Finance Ministry expects to raise USD 1.1 billion from duties on exports of petroleum products. Earlier it was estimated that the annual proceeds will be at least USD 1.5 billion. Due to lower proceeds from oil duties, Belarus may step up export schemes to sell petrochemical products produced from Russian oil and increase imports of gasoline and diesel fuel from Russia. Belarus may use any restrictions on fuel supply from Russia to Ukraine to gain additional revenues. Belarus is unlikely to resume large-scale export schemes of bituminous mixtures and solvents, but Russia will not seriously object if such schemes are implemented in reasonable amounts (USD 100-200 million per year).
Following crackdown and arrests of participants in the spring protests, the authorities resumed arrests as punishment for participating in street protests in addition to fines, which for some time were the only punishment for political activity. On September 22nd, 2017, the riot police detained the Belarusian National Congress leader Nikolai Statkevich, the opposition politician was placed in detention centre on Akrestin street. On the same day, after serving seven days of arrest, another BNC leader, Vladimir Neklyaev, was released. He was sentenced for organising a street protest on September 8th against the West-2017 exercises. Other participants in the protest have been fined too. The authorities are likely to continue to use fines and arrests against political activists to punish for their protest activity.