Belarus struggles with foreign trade deficit
According to the National Statistics Committee, in January – September 2014, the foreign trade in goods deficit was USD 1 931 million, and USD 354.8 million in September alone.
Russia’s embargo on food supplies form a number of countries has created favourable conditions for Belarusian food products to be exported. However, due to devaluation of the Russian rouble, exports growth plans in Belarus have needed to be readjusted. In addition, exports of Belarusian engineering products will continue to drop. The state will have to increase loan support for export enterprises, export prices will drop when exporting to the Russian market, and imports of consumer goods from Russia to Belarus will increase due to lower prices. The National Banks’ gradual devaluation policy makes improvements to the foreign trade deficit in 2014 unattainable, even within one month.
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.