Minsk seeks Tbilisi’s assistance in settling relations with West
At the opening of the 2nd session of the Belarusian-Georgian intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation, the committee’s chairman, Belarus’ Agriculture and Foodstuffs Minister Leonid Zayats said that President Lukashenko was planning his first official visit to Georgia in April 2015. Belarus seeks to strengthen cooperation with other Post-Soviet countries in order to dilute the pressure from the Kremlin. The president may also be expecting a zealous reaction from the Kremlin, which could help him to obtain financial support in exchange for a demonstration of loyalty. In addition, the Belarusian authorities continue sending signals to Western capitals, implying that they seek to reduce Belarus’ dependence on Russia by increasing contacts with ’’pro-Western’’ Kiev and Tbilisi. They also expect Ukrainian and Georgian leaders to help normalising Belarus’ relations with the EU and the US.
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.