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.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.