Minsk creates positive information environment for oil and gas settlement with Kremlin
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said that reports about preliminary approval of the cheaper gas price for Belarus were false. Apparently, as Russia delays the final decision, Belarus has exhausted arguments and patience in negotiations with Russia over oil supplies to Belarus and over reduced gas price. The Belarusian government is attempting to create a positive information background in order to impose its conditions onto the Kremlin in oil and gas tension. The president has publicly supported the act of a representative from the Belarusian delegation, who carried the Russian flag during the Paralympics 2016 opening in Rio de Janeiro, which caused a public outcry in Russian society and joyful comments by Russian officials. The Belarusian authorities are also taking decisive and tough measures to counter the opposition activity, which could be negatively perceived in Russia. In all likelihood, Minsk is counting on political loyalty demonstrations and on creating a positive image of the Belarusian authorities in Russian society in order to settle the long-running dispute over oil and gas supplies.
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.