President Lukashenko expects reciprocal moves from Europe
On May 24th, at a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Martynov, President Lukashenko said, that in a political conflict between Belarus and the European Union, “the ball is on the EU side”.
Belarusian President demonstrates that he is not going to fulfill the requirements put forward by the EU: to release and rehabilitate political prisoners and to change the Belarusian electoral legislation. The Belarusian government finds acceptable the way the recent diplomatic crisis has been resolved, and after the return of the EU Ambassadors to Minsk intends to maintain the status quo.
Therefore President Lukashenko demonstrates to the EU that further development of the Belarus-EU dialogue depends on Brussels. Simultaneously, Lukashenko intensified regional integration within the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space. In particular, during a meeting with FM Martynov he discussed reorganization of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry in order to improve international trade.
Belarusian leadership recons that Belarus’ economic attractiveness as an entry point to the regional trade corridor with its customs benefits will outweigh the EU’s political claims. Therefore, while speaking in Polotsk on May 25th, President Alexander Lukashenko has called Belarus “a gateway to Eurasia”, and urged to carefully assess all the opportunities for economic cooperation, opening for the countries in the region.
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.