Authorities respond heavily even to internet activity
Authorities demonstrate their willingness to stop any unauthorized political activity among young people before the elections. Authorities’ response demonstrates a poor set of counteraction tools: instead using soft ‘information’ means, they resort to harsh power measures.
On August 30th, several youth activists, moderators in several groups in the Russian social network VKontakte were detained in Belarus. Unofficial reports say all in all, about 5 persons were detained.
Detention of youth activists at their homes by police means that the authorities are considering forceful physical resistance as the main tool, and discard the softer counter-propaganda information campaign against their opponents. In the summer of 2011 the government used both methods, and achieved its goals, killing off a youth protests’ wave.
It should be anticipated that before the end of the election campaign, the authorities will severely persecute for any political activity. In the media strict censorship will be enacted and speeches of some candidates calling for an elections boycott will not be broadcasted.
Such traditional behavior demonstrates both, the lack of state propaganda specialists and the general stiffness of the governmental system where decisions made by the country’s management do not receive adequate informational and ideological support. The most striking example occurred in July, when the so-called “teddy bears drop” was ignored by the confused state media.
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.