KGB makes public excuses
Belarusian KGB issued a formal denial of documents published by an international hacker group Anonymous. The documents imply that Belarus could be involved in supplying weapons to Pakistani terrorist groups.
The fact that the KGB reacted to the scandal around the probable cooperation of the Belarusian authorities with the international terrorist network, increases suspicions against Belarus. KGB’s entry into public debate also indicates its weak position, implying it has no other means to influence the situation.
Analysis of the documents made public by Anonymous, only a small part of which applies to Belarus, casts doubts about them being fake. Otherwise, we are talking about very large-scale falsification of thousands of electronic documents. However, the reaction of the Belarusian diplomats and security agencies in this regard makes suspicions against Belarus stronger.
From the diplomatic point of view a joint response of the Foreign Ministry, KGB and the military industry of the State Committee of Belarus to an anonymous hacker group is totally asymmetrical, and unprecedented. In March 2011 the UN accused Belarus of supplying two military helicopters to the Ivory Coast. Following the reaction of the Foreign Ministry against such accusations the issue was finally resolved and the UN had to apologize.
Finally, the scandal has revealed a serious hole in the structure of information security of Belarus. Anonymous say the documents they made public were obtained from hacked servers of the Italian Cyber-Police. If confirmed, the Belarusian secret services will be responsible for leaking confidential government information to hackers as well as to their Italian colleagues.
The most likely consequence of this internal scandal would be the resignation of Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov, whose name appears in one of the published documents. However, it could happen at a later stage, when the resonance of the scandal goes down.
The country's leadership has instructed the local authorities to raise minimum wages at enterprises by the end of 2019 to BYN 1,000, which would lead to an increase in the average wage in the economy as a whole to BYN 1 500. The pace of wage growth in 2017 is insufficient to ensure payroll at BYN 1000 by late 2017 without manipulating statistical indicators. In order to fulfil the president’s order, the government would have to increase budgetary expenditures on wages in healthcare and education, enterprises – to carry out further layoffs and expand the practice of taking loans to pay wages and restrict investment in modernisation of fixed assets. In 2010, the artificial increase in wages led to a threefold devaluation in 2011, an increase in the average salary to BYN 1500 will not match the capabilities of the economy and would lead to yet another devaluation.