Russian labour market gradually regains popularity among Belarusians

July 26, 2016 0:32

According to Rosstat, in March 2016, the average monthly wage in Russia totalled USD 504, which is 46% more than the average wage in Belarus. Compared with January 2016, wages in Russian have increased by 19%, and in some areas, they double Belarusian. If lay-offs persist in Belarus, Belarusians are likely to hit on the Russian labour market and increase the cash flow from Russia to Belarus. In addition, the Belarusian labour market is likely to see a reduction in foreign workers. Due to the financial health of most enterprise, and the need to cut costs, wages in Belarusian public sector are likely to fall behind the inflation. Pay rises may become available only to the highly skilled workers in order to preserve the country’s human resource capacity.

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Death penalty discussion in Belarus: yet not ready for either abolition or moratorium
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The Belarusian authorities have launched a discussion on the moratorium or abolition of the death penalty under the pressure of Belarusian human rights activists and international community. Apparently, the authorities are interested in monitoring public sentiments and response to the possible abolition of the capital punishment. The introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty would depend on the dynamics in Belarusian-European relations, efforts of the civil society organisations and Western capitals.

In Grodno last week, the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Belarus or introducing a moratorium was discussed.

The Belarusian authorities are likely to continue to support the death penalty in Belarus. During his rule, President Lukashenka pardoned only one person, and courts sentenced to death more than 400 people since the early 1990s. Over the past year, Belarusian courts sentenced to death several persons and one person was executed.

There are no recent independent polls about people’s attitude about the death penalty in Belarus. Apparently, this issue is not a priority for the population. In many ways, public opinion about the abolition of the death penalty would depend on the tone of the state-owned media reports.

That said, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church stand for the abolition of the capital punishment, however their efforts in this regard only limit to public statements about their stance. Simultaneously, the authorities could have influenced public opinion about the death penalty through a focused media campaign in the state media. As they did, for example, with the nuclear power plant construction in Astravets. Initially unpopular project of the NPP construction was broadly promoted in the state media, and eventually, according to independent pollsters, was accepted by most population.