Minsk wants to avoid taking sides in West-Russia confrontation over Ukraine events
President Lukashenko has had a telephone conversation with Poland’s Prime Minister Tusk about international developments related to the events in Ukraine. However, official information about the conversation promptly disappeared from the BELTA and Interfax-West news agencies’ websites. Despite Belarus’ attempts to find a balanced approach and not to spoil its relations with the new Ukrainian authorities, Belarus’ position regarding events in Ukraine is forming under the pressure of, and in line with, the Kremlin’s foreign policy. The Belarusian president’s talks with the Polish Prime Minister may be perceived by the Kremlin as an attempt to escape from the defined framework, which could narrow Belarus’ room for manoeuvre. The Belarusian government is not willing to become involved in a confrontation between the West and Russia over the events in South-East Ukraine.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.