Prime Minister Myasnikovich lost two Deputies this year. Is he the next one?
Resignation of Sergei Rumas as Deputy Prime Minister further weakens the position of Prime Minister Myasnikovich and his team in the government. If such staffing policy continues, supporters of conservative economic development will hamper market reforms.
On July 31st the President agreed to the appointment of former Deputy Prime Minister Rumas as Chairman of the Board of JSC “Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus”.
Occupying the Deputy Prime Minister position, Mr. Rumas was one of the main negotiators with international credit organizations such as the IMF and the EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund. Therefore, his transfer to head the newly created Development Bank, first of all, weakens the negotiating position of the Government and Prime Minister Myasnikovich.
Moreover, the replacement of the second vice-premier in the Government demonstrates that the President’s Administration replaces supporters of market reforms in the Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich’s team with more conservative officials from the President’s team. In February 2012 Deputy Prime Minister Ivanov from Myasnikovich’s team was appointed as CEO of Belarusian Potash Company and former Minister of Agriculture Mr. Rusy replaced him in the Government in April.
Consequently, further weakening of the Prime Minister Myasnikovich’s position will result in Belarusian economic planning being transferred to the Presidential Administration. In 2011 Myasnikovich’s Government managed to create a competition with Administration in the economic planning, but in November the Administration managed to insist on its conservative scenario for the economic development targets.
Current personnel policy of the Presidential Administration in the Government aims to consolidate these positions and will progress. Therefore, in the medium term, resignation of Prime Minister Myasnikovich could not be ruled out. The most likely candidate for Prime Minister’s post could be Deputy Prime Minister and a former Presidential Aide Alexander Kalinin.
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.