State to reduce entrepreneurs’ political activity
The single tax rate for entrepreneurs in Minsk will rise by 14-18%, not by 40% as originally planned.
Ahead of the local elections, the authorities have decided to reduce the political activity among individual entrepreneurs. The single tax rate, which is set by Oblast and Minsk City Councils, could have been used by the opposition to enhance the entrepreneurs’ political activity. The local authorities’ decision may significantly affect entrepreneurs’ participation in local elections, but when the election campaign is over, the government might revise the state budget’s funding sources.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.