Lukashenko's and Shoigu's latest meeting in Minsk has spurred new fears that Russia may be putting increased pressure on Belarus to join the war by putting boots on the ground.
The Lukashenko family members hold very favourable positions in Belarus’ SOEs. The family often invite their business partners on expensive trips, the costs for which wildly exceed the family members’ official earnings.
Belarus continues to service its foreign debt in Belarusian rubles and its new budget will focus on assuring political-economic control in the country. Meanwhile, growth and real income is decreasing across the country.
Only 6 days after Maria Kolesnikova was placed in a so called “punishment cell” she was rushed to a civilian hospital. However, her lawyer is still not allowed to get in touch with her.
On Saturday, Belarusian state media reported that Belarus’ FM Vladimir Makei had died suddenly at the age of 64. Makei was one of Lukashenko’s closest men and speculations abound as to what his death could mean for Lukashenko’s regime.
Foreign investors are coming under increasing pressure to divest from Belarus due to the regime’s human rights abuses, and Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko is helping to speed up the process.
According to one Russian official, Belarus and Russia's bilateral trade for January-September 2022 increased by 9%. Belarus and Russia will continue their economic integration this year and are likely to push other post-Soviet countries to follow.
Belarus is one of the world’s largest hubs for “Shadow Diplomacy”, where foreign countries employ businessmen to further their business interests with the regime. Similarly, Belarus is also engaged in its fair share of shadow diplomacy abroad.
Belarus is planning to modernise its agricultural sector, which could help it keep its comparative advantage. However, sanctions are looming.
The contraction in Ukraine’s GDP will be among the worst 10-20% of those in conflicts in the last 200 years, the development bank predicts in its 2022/23 Transition Report.
Development bank recommends countries should now gradually dial down help to vulnerable companies, so they can either learn to adapt to the new climate of higher interest rates or exit the market by going into insolvency.
While the current the macroeconomic storm in Belarus does not favour Minsk's foreign currency revenues, it will likely have enough to pay off its foreign currency-denominated debt. However, it might not have the technical possibility to do so.
The Russian successor to McDonald's "Vkusno i tochka" will soon enter the Belarusian market.
Like Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, Ukraine wants a physical barrier along its border with Belarus. With the construction of its new border wall, Belarus is becoming increasingly boxed-in and pushed even closer to Russia.
Sanctions, inflation rates and government policies have been (and still are) restraining Belarus’ industrial output and the domestic market’s expansion this year. The effects are clearly reflected in the increase in stocks of finished goods.
Yury Chyzh and his Lithuanian partner Vitold Tomasevskij are reported to have transferred billions of dollars out of Belarus that they had allegedly made thanks to preferential access to cheap petroleum.
Russia could form new strike groups to attempt another offensive from Belarusian territory in 2-3 months, according to one Ukrainian military official.
The Ryan air incident of 2021 could be seen as a sort of prelude to what’s happening to the Belarusian economy today. Many other Belarusian SOEs struggling today are already (or will soon be) facing a similar fate.
In the last two months, Minsk has significantly tightened its political control of the country. Minsk's increased political crackdowns show there is no end in sight for the spiral of repressions that have been ongoing since 2020.
In their latest investigation, the Belarusian Investigative Centre has detailed, with the help of the Cyber Partisans, Chyzh’s and Tomaševsky’s joint business schemes since the earlier 2000s and found out how they’ve spent their fortunes.