Kremlin unhappy about Minsk’s independent position on Ukrainian crisis and Eurasian integration
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov will pay a working visit to Belarus to discuss the international and regional situation, including the crisis in Ukraine.
In recent statements, President Lukashenko and Foreign Minister Makei underscored their dissatisfaction over recent agreements with Moscow and pointed to certain problems with the Eurasian Economic Union. In addition, during his visit to Ukraine to attend Poroshenko’s inauguration, President Lukashenko made rather bold position statements about the Russo-Ukrainian crisis, which could be interpreted as support for the Ukrainian side. It is worth noting that Belarus is reactivating its Western policy, which also brings some dividends to Belarusian leadership. If pressured by the Kremlin, however, the Belarusian authorities might be prompted to coordinate their positions on sensitive issues, such as Eurasian integration and the Russo-Ukrainian crisis, with Russia.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.