Privatization: conditions change
The authorities adjust the initial value of enterprises put up for an auction by the inflation index, implying they are not willing to apply any discounts. A precedent with the removal of a potentially interesting food enterprise from an auction implies that the nomenclature will intensify its efforts in the fight for access to property.
The initial selling price of stocks of enterprises will be determined by taking inflation into account, thereby partially reversing the effects of devaluation, which reduced their real price. The government ruled that the starting price of government property put out for tenders and auctions will be indexed by the price growth rate of manufactured goods (the Ministry of Statistics reports prices for manufactured goods in January - July 2011 increased by 58.8%). Moreover, the initial price of the stock will also include the amounts of authorized funds increases from the state budget. However these rules would not apply to state-owned enterprises put out for an auction before the new rules enter into force.
The authorities are trying to maximize revenues from privatization via indexing costs of assets in Br, due to the devaluation of the Belarusian ruble. Therefore, the authorities rely on the fiscal effect, while a natural reduction of the price of assets in foreign currency could stir up the interest of investors. The authorities prefer failed auctions to the sale of assets at a reduced price.
Over the past year, military-political relations between Minsk and Kyiv have become complicated. Due to their high inertia and peculiarities, this downward trend would be extremely difficult to overcome.
The root cause of the crisis is the absence of a common political agenda in the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations. Minsk is looking for a market for Belarusian exports in Ukraine and offers its services as a negotiation platform for the settlement of the Russo-Ukrainian war, thereby hoping to avoid political issues in the dialogue with Kiev. Meanwhile, Ukraine is hoping for political support from Minsk in the confrontation with Moscow. In addition, Ukraine’s integration with NATO presupposes her common position with the Alliance in relation to Belarus. The NATO leadership regards the Belarusian Armed Forces as an integral part of the Russian military machine in the western strategic front (the Baltic states and Poland). In addition, the ongoing military reform in Ukraine envisages a reduction in the number of generals and the domestic political struggle makes some Ukrainian top military leaders targets in politically motivated attacks.
Hence, the criticism of Belarus coming from Ukrainian military leadership is dictated primarily by internal and external political considerations, as well as by the need to protect the interests of generals, and only then by facts.
For instance, initially, the Ukrainian military leadership made statements about 100,000 Russian servicemen allegedly taking part in the Russo-Belarusian military drill West-2017. Then the exercises were labelled quazi-open and military observers from Ukraine refused to provide their assessment, which caused a negative reaction in Minsk. Further, without citing specific facts, it was stated that Russia was building up its military presence in Belarus.
Apparently, the Belarusian and Ukrainian Defence Ministries have entangled in a confrontational spiral (on the level of rhetoric). Moreover, only a small part of the overly hidden process has been disclosed. That said, third states are very likely to take advantage of the situation (or have already done so). This is not only about Russia.
The Belarusian Defence Ministry officials are restrained in assessing their Ukrainian counterparts. However, such a restraint is not enough. Current military-political relations between Belarus and Ukraine are unlikely to stabilise without the intervention of both presidents.