by
April 24 – April 30, 2023
The ruling elite

The government increases support for the public sector; officials increase businesses’ social obligations

The situation has not changed

The authorities remain confident about their economic policy with the support of the public sector and strict price regulation. The government continues to increase the social responsibilities and tax burden of private businesses.

Economic optimism prevails within the regime as businesses report improved economic and financial expectations and average salaries rise.

Lukashenka aims to increase his personal credibility and expand his support base, adjusting his rhetoric when addressing an anti-war audience, continuing to emphasise the benefits of strict price regulation, despite occasional shortages, and travelling to the regions to meet with local officials.

Regulatory changes for small businesses will significantly reduce the number of individual entrepreneurs and increase their tax burden.

Officials continue to delegate social responsibility from the state to private businesses, expecting large retail chains to sponsor free medical treatment for children.

Enforcement agencies supplement the budget with fines and seizures. Two Minsk residents may lose millions in connection with illegal cryptocurrency trading.

Increased economic support for the public sector preserves jobs and the state’s share of the economy. The government will increase its holdings in state-owned wood processing and cement companies.

The government is probably content with the labour market situation. The number of people economically active increased slightly in March, but personnel shortages are increasing in some areas.

The regime does not see emigration as a significant problem as it relieves potential tension in the labour market and reduces the likelihood of protests.

Security forces continue to target dissenters. Lists of extremists continue to be regularly updated, and the prosecutor’s office found “extremist products” in OZON and Wildberries.

Trials of 2020 demonstrators proceed alongside raids by regime guards in the regions with arrests and detentions of dissidents.

The ruling class will continue gradually redistributing social responsibility from the state to the private sector.

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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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