Economist about Belarus: Preparing for difficult times

The magazine notes that on July 23, Alexander Lukashenko announced 4 new managing major energy agencies. Destination occurred during the day when the deadline expired debt payments of 500 million dollars for Russian gas, which has developed since the beginning of the year.
Economist recalls that in January "Gazprom" twice raised Belarus cost of gas — from 46 to 100 dollars for a thousand cubic meters. The contract concluded at the end of last year, provides for an unhurried growth of gas prices for Belarus to the average European level by 2011. But "Gazprom" has agreed that in the first half Belarus will only pay 55 bucks for a thousand cubic meters, and the duty to pay on July 23.
But at the moment the Belarusian side stated that it does not pay, and requests than delay because our homeland does not agree to the expected credit Minsk 1.5 billion dollars.
"Gazprom" on it states that Belarusian consumers since the beginning of the year to pay 120 bucks for a thousand cubic meters, so that means there is in Belarus. In addition, not so long ago, "Gazprom" translated Belarus 625 million dollars as payment for shares "Beltransgaz". But Minsk says he wants to use the funds for investment, and not for the payment of current debt.
Economist does not exclude Belarus still achieve a delay, but in exchange for concessions in the privatization of Belarusian enterprises, first oil and gas industry.
Russian investors, including and "Gazprom", insist on an even lower evaluation of these plants than the cost, which wishes get over their Belarusian side. English magazine also presents data on the decline in the oil industry, caused by the introduction of Russian export duties on crude oil supply Belarus. Publication writes about a substantial reduction in oil imports from Russia and export of petroleum products, as a reduction to small numbers of re-exports of oil.

Economist: Without liberalization and foreign investment Belarusian industry fails to work in the new criteria.

Economist writes that without liberalization and foreign investment flow Belarusian industry is unlikely to be able to operate in the new economic criteria.
Newspaper directly connects recent reshuffle in the energy departments of the KGB and economic neuvvyazkami that are growing. With one side, new mission control "Beltransgaz", "Belneftekhim" and other departments are intended in some sense to pass on their responsibility for the energy problem. Economist notes that power Lukashenko to the nearest time had two supports: a cheap Russian energoelementy and "vertical" power. Deshevenky energoelementy currently remain in the past and because at the moment like never Lukashenko wants to be sure that the "vertical" — a reliable support — writes the Economist.
• Preparing for tougher times, 25.07.2007

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