Lukashenko ignored the CIS Summit in Dushanbe
Belarusian president fails to get the necessary support from the Russian leadership therefore he sent Mikhail Maysnikovich to take part in the Summit. Myasnikovich is accumulating and developing Eastern contacts, however he is also blamed by the president for failures with regard to Russia.
Instead of President Lukashenko Belarus has been represented by Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich at the Anniversary CIS Summit.
A week ago in Sochi President Lukashenko had unsuccessful talks with Russian President Medvedev on the most pressing issues for Belarus therefore he was not interested in meeting him again. In particular, the parties have not agreed about a loan secured by the assets of “Belaruskali” or by the proceeds from the sale of government’s stake in Belarusian enterprises (first of all, “Beltransgaz”).
Therefore at the Summit Belarus has been represented by Prime Minister Myasnikovich, who continues gaining scores as a major Belarusian international negotiator. This Summit was the first highest level meeting he attended and could communicate directly with President Medvedev and other presidents of the CIS countries (the Summit was attended by 8 of 11 CIS presidents).
However, the authority of Myasnikovich is in the rigid frameworks set by the President Lukashenko and his inner circle of power structures. The president has the exclusive right to take decisions about the most crucial issues for the Belarusian economy (privatization, economic reforms). Work of Myasnikovich on the Eastern policy of Belarus will be interfered by the security forces close to the President.
For instance, the action plan made public on 30 August concerning stabilization of the currency market ignored the main requirement set by the main financial partners of Belarus (EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund and the IMF), i.e. to eliminate the multiplicity of exchange rates. Prime Minister Myasnikovich is responsible for negotiations with these organizations. However, the President appointed the State Control Committee and the Security Council, not the Government, as the principal implementers of the plan of action.
The country's leadership has instructed the local authorities to raise minimum wages at enterprises by the end of 2019 to BYN 1,000, which would lead to an increase in the average wage in the economy as a whole to BYN 1 500. The pace of wage growth in 2017 is insufficient to ensure payroll at BYN 1000 by late 2017 without manipulating statistical indicators. In order to fulfil the president’s order, the government would have to increase budgetary expenditures on wages in healthcare and education, enterprises – to carry out further layoffs and expand the practice of taking loans to pay wages and restrict investment in modernisation of fixed assets. In 2010, the artificial increase in wages led to a threefold devaluation in 2011, an increase in the average salary to BYN 1500 will not match the capabilities of the economy and would lead to yet another devaluation.