24 January 2018, Wednesday, 1:03

Barys Zhaliba: Ukraine makes Lukashenka lose tens of millions of dollars


Minsk will lose much money due to special duties imposed on Belarusian goods by Kyiv.

Economist Prof. Barys Zhaliba said it in an interview with charter97.org commenting on imposing special duties on Belarusian goods by Ukraine.

“The Belarusian authorities were the first to impede the import of Ukrainian goods. Of course, Ukraine answered with similar measures. It shows us that though being in a difficult situation, it will not allow encroaching on its economic interests. Of course, the duties of this size on the customs cost of goods are high,” the expert notes.

The economist thinks “Ukraine gives Belarus to understand that it will further take symmetrical measures as long as its economy can afford it. It also shows that one should not obey Russia in the issue.”

“We heard recently that Lukashenka and Nazarbayev did not support Russia's proposal to impose restrictive duties on all Ukrainian goods, as Russia does. Moscow said it would do it alone. But if we see the beginning of the trade war, I think Russia uses other ways to put some pressure on the Belarusian government and Lukashenka to make them create obstacles for Ukrainian import. Ukraine responds to these obstacles. Of course, it is not profitable for Kyiv and Minsk, because Ukraine is Belarus's second biggest trade partner after Russia,” Barys Zhaliba thinks.

The expert emphasised that “the Belarusian economy and Aliaksandr Lukahenka will lost millions of dollars due to duties imposed by Ukraine”.

“The country's trade turnover with Ukraine was about 6.2 billion dollars last year. It is less than with Russia, but billions of dollars is a rather serious sum. I cannot give the exact figures, but Belarus will definitely lose millions of dollars or maybe tens of millions. Ukraine also wants to raise duties on our fridges and other goods. If such mutual blows grow stronger, Belarus's losses will only increase,” he summed up.

Ukraine imposed special duties on Belarusian dairy products, confections and beer.