Lukashenko sets framework for Makey’s negotiations in Brussels

Category status:
April 22, 2016 18:34

On July 19th, Irina Khalip, the wife of former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, has been released from punishment by a court decision. On July 25th, former presidential candidate Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu’s trial will take place.

Emigration from Belarus of most activists from Sannikov’s team pre-determined the court’s soft decision in Khalip case. If Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu is also released from punishment, it will imply that the ruling group is ready to bridge positions with the West in preparation for the next round of the dialogue.

The ruling group does not consider former candidate Sannikov’s team as serious opponents in Belarus’ political arena. Forced emigration of the team leaders and majority ‘European Belarus’ campaign activists is assessed by the authorities as weakening of Sannikov’s positions. Therefore the government had no reasons to extend Irina Khalip’s punishment (house arrest and supervisory regime), or the more so, to sentence her to a prison term.

In addition, if Khalip was locked up that would unavoidably create a new wave of international criticism against the authorities, since she would be recognized as yet another political prisoner in Belarus. Conversely, Khalip’s release creates a favorable background for Foreign Minister Makey’s visit to Brussels on July 22nd.

It is noteworthy, that Khalip (on July 19th) and Nyaklyaeu’s (on July 25th) trials were synchronized with Makey’s visit to Brussels (on July 22nd). Presumably, such synchronization was used by the authorities to ensure situational decision-making - depending on the outcome of Makey’s negotiations in Brussels. It also implies that the principled decision on the resumption of the dialogue with the West and the corresponding release of political prisoners in Belarus is still pending. The ruling group is treating the upcoming negotiations as a bargain and demonstrates its reluctance to comply with the requirement to rehabilitate political prisoners (Khalip’s conviction has not been expunged).

In turn, the decision in the Nyaklyaeu case on July 25th will indicate how much influence Minister Makey has inside the country, since he apparently was making lots of efforts to resume dialogue with the EU and the U.S.. If Nyaklyaeu is released from punishment, it might be a sign of Lukashenko’s confidence in Makey and a positive assessment of Foreign Ministry’s achievements under his leadership.

Alternatively, any sentence against Nyaklyaeu will result in further deterioration of the relations with the West, and will diminish the Foreign Ministry’s achievements in the western policy made over 2012, as well, will be a sign of President’s retentive mistrust to the Foreign Minister.

Similar articles

Growth in real wages may disrupt macroeconomic balance in Belarus
October 02, 2017 12:12
Фото: Дмитрий Брушко, TUT.BY

The rapid increase in wages has led to a decline in the ratio between labour productivity and real wages to one. Previously, the rule was that enterprises, in which the state owned more than 50% of shares in the founding capital, were not allowed increasing salaries if this ratio was equal to or less than one. The authorities are unlikely to be able to meet the wage growth requirement without long-term consequences for the economy. Hence, the government is likely to contain wage growth for the sake of economic growth.

According to Belstat, In January – August 2017, GDP growth was 1.6%. The economic revival has led to an increase in wages. In August, the average monthly wage was BYN 844.4 or USD 435, i.e. grew by 6.6% since early 2017, adjusted for inflation. This has reduced the ratio between labour productivity and real wages from 1.03 in January 2017 to 1 in the first seven months of 2017. This parameter should not be less than 1, otherwise, the economy starts accumulating imbalances.

The need for faster growth in labour productivity over wage growth was stated in Decree No 744 of July 31st, 2014. The decree enabled wages growth at state organizations and organizations with more than 50% of state-owned shares only if the ratio between growth in labour productivity and wages was higher than 1. Taking into account the state's share in the economy, this rule has had impact on most of the country's key enterprises. In 2013 -2014 wages grew rapidly, which resulted in devaluation in 2014-2015.

Faster wage growth as compared with growth in labour productivity carries a number of risks. Enterprises increase cost of wages, which subsequently leads to a decrease in the competitiveness of products on the domestic and foreign markets. In construction, wholesale, retail trade, and some other industries the growth rate of prime cost in 2017 outpaces the dynamics of revenue growth. This is likely to lead to a decrease in profits and a decrease in investments for further development. Amid wage growth, the population is likely to increase import consumption and reduce currency sales, which would reduce the National Bank's ability to repay foreign and domestic liabilities.

The Belarusian government is facing a dilemma – either to comply with the president’s requirement of a BYN 1000 monthly wage, which could lead to new economic imbalances and could further affect the national currency value, or to suspend the wage growth in order to retain the achieved economic results. That said, the first option bears a greater number of negative consequences for the nomenclature.

Overall, the rapid growth in wages no longer corresponds the pace of economic development. The government is likely to retain the economic growth and retrain further growth in wages. Staff reshuffles are unlikely to follow the failure to meet the wage growth requirement.

Recent trends

cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china