New player on potash market
On June 17th, 2016, Belarusbank and China Development Bank signed a loan agreement for USD 1.4 billion to finance the construction of Slavkali mine with capacity of 2 million tons based on Nijinsky potash deposit. The project’s total cost is estimated at USD 1.7 billion and Belarusbank has to raise the remaining funds. The project would increase imports of equipment and labour from China, as the general contractor is a Chinese company, as well, it will create additional jobs in construction in the Minsk region. After the plant is completed, up to 1500 new jobs may be created. A new player will emerge on the potash market, which will lead to some changes in shares among the largest market players. Slavkaly will not compete with Belaruskali as both companies are likely to coordinate their activities on the international market.
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.