Law enforcement agencies have complied with the 2020 budget
By Andrei Parotnikau
In 2020, the state budget allocated in Belarusian roubles for law enforcement agencies was utilised almost in full
A decree on clarifying the indicators of the budget of Belarus for 2020 has been published. There are no fundamental changes In terms of allocations related to law enforcement. Budgets have not materially changed with fluctuations accounting for 1-2% of planned spend. In contrast, there has been a sharp reduction in social spending, sports and education, the national economy and national activities. The ring-fencing of expenditure on law enforcement agencies demonstrates their essential nature, clearly illustrating the Belarusian regime's intention to retain power by force. Additionally, a significant reallocation of funds favouring law enforcement agencies (due to reduced spending on national defence) indicates that Belarus sees no external threats and does not expect them to appear.
As expected, the Belarusian ruble's significant devaluation postponed arms purchases even under already concluded contracts, as in the case of the Russian Su-30 SM heavy fighters. There is a high probability that economic restrictions will not allow the military department to realise its purchase plans in full.
Security financing will continue to focus on maintaining current capabilities, primarily in terms of personnel. Internal security structures are the priority for the ruling regime due to the current political situation and the absence of external military threats. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Special Services are relatively inexpensive and do not require large-scale (tens to hundreds of millions of dollars) equipment procurement programs to support their activities.