Alyaksandr Lukashenka commented on the Belarusian ruble devaluation only a week after it happened.
“The International Monetary Fund offered a good loan for Belarus, it is even better than one we’ve received from Russia. But there were two requirements: not to increase salaries, not to give Belarusian rubles, because people will exchange them for dollars. We didn’t agree, but we reached a compromise. The second condition was 20-per cent devaluation of the ruble. It was a demand of the IMF.
“They offered three billion dollars, we must have done this. Moreover, our export-oriented economy needed this devaluation,” Lukashenka commented on the situation on the currency market during personnel appointments.
At the same time, A. Lukashenka thinks the prime cause of the devaluation was support of national exporting companies. “Firstly, Russia is our big trading partner, and our exporters suffered great losses trading at its markets when the Belarusian ruble was strong. One-step devaluation was the best way out. The dollar costs 400 rubles more, it is not a big sum, but we have supported producers,” the head of state told.
“Now our priority is industry, if industry exists, we will have strong ruble and everything. No industry – no ruble,” the president added.
These two reasons – increasing of competitive power at the Russian market and demands of the IMF – were suppositions for the devaluation, the president resumed.
A.Lukashenka called people not to panic: “Everyone is asking what will happen tomorrow. Everything will be all right. You don’t need to go to currency exchange offices.”
According to him, the Belarusians shouldn’t “go to currency exchange offices and buy dollars at crazy costs”. “No one knows what will happen to the dollar and the euro. If someone wants to spend money on goods, it is right. But buying three, five, ten TV-sets or fridges, thinking it is a good investment of money, is very stupid, because prices are falling down. People should keep money in banks,” A. Lukashenka said.
The Belarusian ruler thinks the situation will be stable. “We count we will need to strengthen the ruble, and the dollar will become cheaper. Everything will depend on people, on the situation on the market. Besides, the ruble is national currency of Belarus, and we are making our currency more attractive,” A. Lukashenka concluded.