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.
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.