Devaluation of BYR in January will require new write off of losses in economy
As of January 22nd, 2016, BYR depreciated against the USD and EURO by more than 12%. Devaluation of the national currency is related to the fall in oil prices and weakening of the Russian rouble. Given the large proportion of Russia in Belarus’ foreign trade turnover, further dynamics will depend on the actions of the Central Bank with regard to the Russian rouble. Corporate currency loans in Belarus are likely to be revalued. Most Belarusian enterprises are likely to report losses in January due to exchange differences resulting from the revaluation of foreign currency liabilities. Importers may stop importing some goods due to unprofitability. In order to preserve budget proceeds from income tax, the government may require to list currency differences as deferred expenses, leading to distorted financial situation at enterprises, which, however, will help keep the budget revenues from significant adjustments.
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.