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.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.