Visa-free regime will not improve political contacts between Minsk and Jerusalem
Last week, Deputy Minister for Sport and Tourism Mikhali Portnov officially confirmed the introduction of the visa-free regime with Israel. Negotiations between Minsk and Jerusalem on the introduction of the visa-free regime were ongoing over the past few years, and the starting date had been postponed by Israel several times. The current level of political contacts between the Belarusian and Israeli leaders and prospects for their development are quite low. The Israeli government has once again taken a preliminary decision to close its diplomatic mission to Minsk for economic reasons. In addition, speaking of Minsk’s interests in the Middle East, high-level contacts with the Arab countries seem to be more appealing to the Belarusian authorities, than with Israel.
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.