Minsk aspires to compensate for losses from oil with additional gas concessions
The talks about changing the formula for the gas price for Belarus are still ongoing, no decision, as yet. Belarusian government officials are demonstrating optimism and confidence that Russia will reduce the gas price. However, each month, the lack of the decision increases Belarus’ losses from the reduced supply of the Russian oil to the Belarusian refineries. However, the Belarusian leadership avoids the aggravation and is not willing to raise the issue publicly, unlike before. The Russian government insists that Belarus accepts and repays its debt for gas, and then it will be ready to resume oil supplies to Belarus in agreed volumes. Minsk waits for Moscow to accept concessions on gas price and until then pretends there is not tension in relations with the Kremlin.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.