On 9 June a loan agreement was signed with the EurAsEC for $ 3 billion with interest rate of 4.9% per year for 10 years, a grace period of repayment of principal debt is 3 years. The first tranche is expected this week.
The delayed loan decision and its allocation in tranches do not allow for its effective use for the purposes it was requested i.e. to stabilize the currency market and to delay privatization.
The first tranche of the loan will be used as a lever to obtain other loans, given the first tranche will be spent on the GCR.
The National Bank has to carry out accurate interventions at the Foreign Exchange and a part of the loan will be spent on these purposes. However there will be little effect from these interventions and the exchange rate will not stabilize.
It is obvious that the leadership understands the poor effect of the EurAsEC loan, and that is why, immediately after the information about it the authorities spread information about another USD 1 billion to come from another source. In its attempts to bring down the devaluation expectations the government spreads the most incredible rumors (as if it will come from Turkmenistan or Israel), while the only plausible source of new billion is co-owner of Uralkaliy Suleiman Kerimov.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.