Belarus insists on her terms for visa liberalization with EU
Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Elena Kupchina said that during negotiations with the EU on visa facilitation and readmission, no agreement had been reached regarding visa-free trips for diplomats and members of official delegations. The Belarusian authorities want political conditions for the resumption of the Belarus-EU dialogue to be completely removed, including the suspension or lift of EU sanctions without the release of political prisoners. The Belarusian authorities say that the EU is ready for more pragmatic relations with Belarus, however, with the preservation of rhetoric about human rights and democratisation. In addition, official Minsk seeks to impose its vision on the development of Belarus-EU relations when Brussels starts consultations on the revision and reformatting of the European Neighbourhood Policy towards Belarus. Meanwhile, the Belarusian government has no intention to change its attitude towards political opponents, and is more likely to toughen conditions for the opposition activities before the 2015 presidential election.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.