Rouble wages in Belarus to go up in December 2016
According to the National Statistics Committee, the average salary in Belarus in October 2016 totalled 722.9 BYN or BYN 10 less than in September 2016. Nominal wages eroded for the second month in a row mainly due to the negative trends in industry and construction and the end of the harvesting season in agriculture. Due to the absence of foreseeable improvements in the economy, wages are likely to continue to fall. In the public sector, wage growth is restricted by further budgetary cuts. Negative trends on the consumer market are likely to build up and profitability of the retail trade is likely to fall, along with layoffs in retail chains. Rouble wages are only likely to grow in December 2016 due to the year-end bonus payments. However, further on, average wage in Belarus is likely to remain at USD 350-USD 400.
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.