Minsk counts on gradual increase in political contacts with Western capitals
Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei took part in the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Visegrad Group (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland) and the Eastern Partnership member countries. Minsk has repeatedly emphasised its interest in pragmatic cooperation with European capitals. Amid lingering economic crisis, the Belarusian leadership has shown greater willingness to participate in the Eastern Partnership initiative. However, Minsk is rather interested in strengthening economic cooperation with the EU and gradually develop political contacts in order to avoid undue irritation in the Kremlin.
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.