17 January 2018, Wednesday, 22:54

Barys Zhaliba: Russia has less money on Lukashenka due to Crimea


Cancelling oil duties for Minsk is open to question due to gross losses of Russia's economy.

Economist Prof. Barys Zhaliba talked with charter97.org about Lukashenka's address to the nation and the “parliament”.

“I can say that I didn't heard anything new that could improve the sad situation in our economy. His words had an aim of interesting the public. The address had a populist accent,” the expert thinks.

The economist notes that opening a $10,000 deposit account for a third child was more than populist, because the state doesn't have this money.

“The state funds are melting. The authorities almost stopped issuing soft housing loans. The social policy is hobbling. As for Lukashenka's statement about his readiness to sign a treaty on the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union on condition of removing all exemptions and restrictions in mutual trade, it's a big question. If it hadn't been for Crimea, Russia could have money and Putin would said at a meeting with Lukashenka and Nazarbayev in Minsk on April 29 that the duties of 3.5-4bn dollars will remain in Belarus's budget from 2015. This money will allow Lukashenka to keep salaries on the acceptable level and run in the 'election' with a more or less good background. But it's a big question today, because Russia has already spent billions on Crimea and has to spend even more,” Barys Zhaliba says.

The Belarusian dictator delivered the annual address to the nation and the “parliament” yesterday. As usual, he made a number of populist remarks.