Belarusian shadow government defined their strategy
On June 1, the Organising Committee of the National Revival Rada published a memorandum on their goals and aims of their activities. The members of Rada are several former officers of law enforcement agencies.
The initiative to establish a government in exile acquires more meaning and is becoming more organised. The project is launched under conditions when there is no political support inside and outside Belarus.
An important achievement in the process of creation of a shadow government was statutory meetings held in April-May 2012. According to Vladzimir Baradach, approximately thirty people took part in the meetings, mostly they were the Belarusian refugees who used to work in law enforcement agencies.
A next step was to prepare and publish a memorandum. The fact that the memorandum was introduced to general public without gaining support from influential politicians indicates that the initiators of the project set to lower ambitions.
Despite the negotiations with several opposition leaders and movements, none of the politicians has openly agreed to join the initiative. It therefore signals that the project lacks a “face” not only in terms of a recognisable political leader, but also “arms and legs” in terms of even minimal mobility of human resources.
The memorandum gives traditional evaluation of Belarusian reality: Lukashenko’s regime is illegitimate and needs to be changed; there is a need for economic reforms etc. Also, the authors of the document suggest challenging the legitimacy of the decisions taken by the Belarusian authorities and carry out re-privatization of Belarus’ assets in the interests of the Belarusian people.
The latter objective is quite relevant, especially with regard to an ongoing privatization in Belarus. For example, after Belarus had sold a 50% stake in Beltransgas to Gasprom in November 2011, it was repeatedly stated in the media that the transaction costs were reduced. It contradicts the rule of law; therefore the transaction can be revised. It is clear that to do so, Lukashenko’s regime should be significantly weaker, which is not yet the case.
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.