Population becomes net seller of foreign currency
In January 2014 the population sold USD 99 million more cash currency than bought. This confirms the high level of devaluation expectations by Belarusians in late 2013. It also indicates that incomes shrank in January, forcing people to dip into their currency savings to maintain the current spending level. Most likely, in the future consumer spending and devaluation fears among the population will reduce.
Following crackdown and arrests of participants in the spring protests, the authorities resumed arrests as punishment for participating in street protests in addition to fines, which for some time were the only punishment for political activity. On September 22nd, 2017, the riot police detained the Belarusian National Congress leader Nikolai Statkevich, the opposition politician was placed in detention centre on Akrestin street. On the same day, after serving seven days of arrest, another BNC leader, Vladimir Neklyaev, was released. He was sentenced for organising a street protest on September 8th against the West-2017 exercises. Other participants in the protest have been fined too. The authorities are likely to continue to use fines and arrests against political activists to punish for their protest activity.