Unions of Poles to remain an issue in Belarusian-Polish relations
Last week, Marshal of the Polish Senate Stanislaw Karczewski visited Belarus. During the visit, Karczewski met with the president, the heads of both parliamentary chambers, and representatives of the opposition and civil society. During his visit, the Council of the Republic ratified the bilateral agreement on cooperation in education. The existence of two Unions of Poles in Belarus was a special discussion issue during Karczewski’s meetings with the Belarusian public officials. After official meetings, Karczewki expressed cautious hope for a rapprochement between the official Union of Poles supported by the authorities and the informal Union of Poles. However, this issue is unlikely to be resolved in the near future, and the status of the non-official Union of Poles will remain a topic for negotiations for quite some time.
According to Decree No. 221 of June 23rd, 2017, deadlines for the completion of foreign trade operations have been extended from 90 to 180 days for exports and from 60 to 90 days for imports. Delayed payments entailed a fine up to 2% of the transaction cost for each day of the delay, but could not exceed the total cost of the transaction. Most companies, when working with new counterparties, require a deferred payment for a period of three to six months. Due to the new regulation, violations are likely to reduce in number, so as the fines. Trade enterprises are likely to expand the assortment list due to the supply of new products in small lots, and the assortment list of exported Belarusian goods could expand, too. The new terms for completing foreign trade transactions would enable medium and small companies on the foreign trade market, exporters and importers are likely to grow in number and the geography of export-import operations could expand.