July 31 – August 6, 2023
The ruling elite

Lukashenka buttresses support in the western regions. The National Bank is concerned about overheating the economy

The situation has not changed
Lukashenka buttresses support in the western regions. The National Bank is concerned about overheating the economy
фото: "пул первого"

Lukashenka is moderating his rhetoric towards holders of the “Polish Card” to secure officials’ loyalty in the western regions of Belarus. Law enforcement and regulatory agencies increase their contribution to the state budget from fines and business expropriations.

Lukashenka organises an inspection tour of agricultural enterprises in the western regions, promising to revise the “Polish card” issue and not “wave a stick” at its holders. However, this does not guarantee an end to the brutal behaviour of security forces nor a review of restrictions for civil servants.

The National Bank is concerned about the consequences of fiscal stimulus and is trying to ease the pressure from lobbyists to increase public spending. The priority method of solving the problem is public sector salary increases.

The state continues to disregard popular opinion. The interested groups have fewer and fewer mechanisms to influence decisions of importance to them, such as changes in tax legislation.

Officials relaxed their interpretation of legislation which worsened conditions for business. However, the regime aims to significantly reduce the number of small businesses, which the leadership sees as a threat and one of the most disloyal segments of the population.

Compared to 2022, State Control conducted 18% more inspections and collected 21.1% more funds for the state in the first six months of this year.

Officials continue with expropriations from private businesses. In the Luninets district, tax officials inspected the records of a farm and levied an additional BYN 240,000 in “voluntary taxation”.

Purges of dissident workers in state-owned companies continue. At “Naftan” and “Polimir”, workers continue to be dismissed in connection with their subscription to “extremist” Telegram channels, as designated by officials.

Security forces are conducting a demonstrative campaign to demotivate employees of state-owned companies. A factory in Gomel published a “repentant” video of an employee detained by riot police for “extremism” near the workshop.

The ruling class continues to try to isolate public sector workers from alternative sources of information.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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