Republican road fund deficit is likely to retain until 2020
The state programme for the development and maintenance of highways for 2017-2020 estimates preliminary costs at USD 2.8 billion; it envisages expansion of the toll network. Despite the planned increase in the proceeds from individuals for admission of vehicles to traffic and the overall increase in revenues of the republican road fund by 27% by 2020 (to BYN 674 million), the state’s annual subsidies for the Republican Road Fund deficit would be at least USD 50 million.
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.