The government starts dealing with arrears
“Belneftehim” restricted supply of its subordinate enterprises to foreign enterprises-debtors. This decision was adopted at a meeting of the Board of the Group on 29 July 2011.
Reports say, Belarusian exporters’ receivables exceeded $ 4 billion, of which $ 2 billion accounted for arrears.
The main volume of foreign currency earnings, which stays unreasonably outside Belarus, is accountable for the Ministry of Industry enterprises and the concern “Belneftekhim”. All together they are responsible for about 70% of the Belarusian exports. The reasons behind the delayed return of foreign currency earnings are not only due to unattractive official exchange rate, but also to the possibility to make quick gains using financial institutions abroad. While struggling to increase the foreign currency earnings the authorities still adhere to the usual administrative methods. The intrigue is that unofficial repost say, the State Control Committee, the main oversight body of the country, informally does not support the current economic policy. SCC experts were both against the unwinding of extensive loans and income growth at the end of 2010, as well as against the current policy of multiple exchange rates. Without full and unconditional support of the SCC, any repressive attempts would be ineffective.
Accordingly, prognosis for the future is that the number of corruption schemes will increase, there will be little progress on the return of currency earnings (by large state-owned enterprises), and continuation of fights behind the scenes between different power groups for a way out of the crisis in the country.
Over the past year, military-political relations between Minsk and Kyiv have become complicated. Due to their high inertia and peculiarities, this downward trend would be extremely difficult to overcome.
The root cause of the crisis is the absence of a common political agenda in the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations. Minsk is looking for a market for Belarusian exports in Ukraine and offers its services as a negotiation platform for the settlement of the Russo-Ukrainian war, thereby hoping to avoid political issues in the dialogue with Kiev. Meanwhile, Ukraine is hoping for political support from Minsk in the confrontation with Moscow. In addition, Ukraine’s integration with NATO presupposes her common position with the Alliance in relation to Belarus. The NATO leadership regards the Belarusian Armed Forces as an integral part of the Russian military machine in the western strategic front (the Baltic states and Poland). In addition, the ongoing military reform in Ukraine envisages a reduction in the number of generals and the domestic political struggle makes some Ukrainian top military leaders targets in politically motivated attacks.
Hence, the criticism of Belarus coming from Ukrainian military leadership is dictated primarily by internal and external political considerations, as well as by the need to protect the interests of generals, and only then by facts.
For instance, initially, the Ukrainian military leadership made statements about 100,000 Russian servicemen allegedly taking part in the Russo-Belarusian military drill West-2017. Then the exercises were labelled quazi-open and military observers from Ukraine refused to provide their assessment, which caused a negative reaction in Minsk. Further, without citing specific facts, it was stated that Russia was building up its military presence in Belarus.
Apparently, the Belarusian and Ukrainian Defence Ministries have entangled in a confrontational spiral (on the level of rhetoric). Moreover, only a small part of the overly hidden process has been disclosed. That said, third states are very likely to take advantage of the situation (or have already done so). This is not only about Russia.
The Belarusian Defence Ministry officials are restrained in assessing their Ukrainian counterparts. However, such a restraint is not enough. Current military-political relations between Belarus and Ukraine are unlikely to stabilise without the intervention of both presidents.