Belarusian government changes policy to preserve stability on labour market
Mogilev Carriage Works has stopped operations due to a catastrophic drop in demand for its produce. The state has no funds to ensure 100% employment for public sector workers via maintaining production levels and stocking produce in warehouses amid falling demand. The authorities have been prompted to suspend production at large enterprises in order to reduce maintenance costs for unprofitable enterprises. Nevertheless, ahead of presidential elections, the government will provide some minimum social protection and employee benefits to relieve tension on the labour market.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.