Foreign trade of Belarus slumped in February
According to the National Statistics Committee, foreign trade deficit in late February 2015 was USD 108.7 million, while in January 2015 foreign trade surplus was USD 242 million. Deficit in February was due to a sharp increase in the cost of Russian oil because of Russia’s tax manoeuvre and falling prices on petroleum products on the world market. In the future, foreign trade deficit would only increase. In order to curb foreign trade deficit, the Belarusian authorities are likely to restrict imports to Belarus, including from the EAEC. In order to stimulate exports, Belarus might increase preferential lending to exporters. Belarus might somewhat improve her foreign trade indicators thanks to a contract with China to supply potash fertilizers and thanks to reduced prices for natural gas.
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.