National Bank reduces share of forex revenues firms have to sell
As of February 205th, the National Bank reduced the share of foreign-currency revenues that Belarusian companies are obliged to sell to 40% from 50%. This action has been taken in order to demonstrate the foreign exchange market stabilisation and reduce devaluation moods. As a result, Belarus anticipates increasing foreign currency revenues, reducing external current and overdue receivables, and cutting payment terms under export contracts. In the future, the requirement might be reduced to 30%, but this will depend on the situation with imports and on the results of talks with Russia over financial aid to Belarus.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.