Lukashenka aims to resolve long-running energy crisis at meeting with Putin

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November 14, 2016 12:00
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President Lukashenka is planning a visit to Moscow in the near future to hold talks with Russian President Putin. At the meeting, the president aims to close the issue with the Russian energy supply. The oil and gas tension between Moscow and Minsk has become chronic with periodic exacerbations in bilateral relations, albeit without the harsh confrontation and information wars common for late 2000s. Despite numerous statements by Belarusian and Russian officials about the near end to the oil and gas crisis, to date, the parties have not come to the final agreement. Minsk’s arguments seem to have no effect on the Kremlin, which is firmly unwilling to make concessions. The Kremlin’s stance has prompted Minsk to reduce expectations of benefits from the Eurasian integration and look for new partners and ways to import energy. In all likelihood, the Belarusian authorities anticipate to achieve at least a temporary compromise with the Kremlin by the year-end, when the EEU will report on its integration successes.

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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.

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