Belarusian authorities are changing economic model through strengthening large business patronised by security forces
The Belarusian leadership has enhanced the influence of the power block on the political and economic agenda to demonstrate that it is in control, especially before the Russo-Belarusian military exercise "West-2017". Apparently, the president anticipates economic growth to retain in the coming months due to administrative means and the anti-corruption pressure from the power block, as well as due to an increase in the share of loyal large business in the economy. The authorities continue probing some economic transformations envisaging a smooth transition from the existing large public sector in the economy to enabling loyal private investors.
The power block has retained its positions in the economy, acting as a kind of a referee when interests of competing business groups clash. Businessmen with connections in the power block have the advantage so as the support from the security forces allows them to remove their competitors from the market due to criminal prosecution on economic charges. Such connections are of a particular value in Belarus because of the confusing legislation and justified claims about the independence of the judiciary. For instance, power officials have detained top managers of businessman Averyanov, who had left Belarus, most likely due to the "war" with creditors for his assets. Simultaneously, the president has demonstrated readiness to increase the share of loyal large business in the economy.
In addition, the state is using the anti-corruption pressure on the beneficiaries of the state aid in the most resource-intensive economic sectors. Since the spring, power officials have been focusing on agriculture, which resulted in about a dozen of criminal cases against managers of the agro-industrial complex. The Belarusian leadership aims to keep agricultural managers alert and reduce their expectations of state support for the industry.
In all likelihood, in the near future the power block is likely to shift the focus onto the work of Belarusian exporters and their foreign partners.
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.