Industry prospects depend on Russian market
December 2014 saw the industrial production index go lower than 100% in comparison to the same month last year (the last time this happened was in February 2014).
The cumulative production growth of 1.9% as of 2014 year-end created a high comparative base for the 2015 index numbers. Under current conditions, the industry will be unable to demonstrate production growth, and it is reasonable to expect operational indicators to decrease. Devaluation will create difficulties for buying materials as a result of restrictions on price rises, but the competitive ability of the exported goods will be restored as a result of a further fall in the Belarusian ruble. If the economic situation in Russia continues to deteriorate, the big enterprises which are oriented towards the Russian market could see a large fall in their production levels, and underemployment and social instability may rise.
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.