Currency crisis facing Belarus seems to have become a surprise to everyone, including politicians and experts. Even among the non-partisan analysts there was a view that the country has gone through quite well the global economic crisis, in any case, it is easier than other European countries. And that, they say, demonstrates the stability of the Belarusian social model.
And now, when it would seem, the bottom of the crisis successfully overcome, suddenly everything started to fall. It ended the currency devaluation actually occurs, is somewhat foreign exchange rates.
These recent developments in the economy yield several important conclusions that can, and are not new, but in the light of a currency crisis increases their relevance. First, the Belarusian economic miracle is largely based on Russian subsidies. Once Russia since 2007, the beginning of their decline, the Belarusian economy are having significant problems. Please note, the external debt of the country is beginning to grow rapidly since 2007.
Second, the Belarusian economy is highly dependent on foreign support. Without foreign loans the country simply can not exist. Today it is difficult to imagine that by the middle of the 2000s, Belarus has been without a large debt. And now the Belarusian economy as a drug addict, requires more and more foreign loans. Without them, begins the "breaking" that we now observe.
Third, the IMF loan of $ 3.5 billion saved by the regime in the most critical moment, when the Belarusian economy is in crisis and at the same time approaching presidential election. Moreover, the official Minsk simply "threw" the IMF without doing even those minimal economic conditions, which he put forward: to create a financial agency for funding government programs, the independent committee on privatization, the privatization of five important companies.
Without this loan before the election the economic situation in the country would have been even worse than today. And, accordingly, the mood of the population. If the IMF loan was not, the campaign was held to a completely different social background, and it is unlikely we would have argued about the 50% approval rating Lukashenko. And on December 19 would leave no area of 10-30 thousand, and ten times more. IMF — is primarily the United States and the European Union. Why the West has saved the Lukashenko regime — this is for me personally, it remained a mystery.
Fourthly, it follows that Belarus is very susceptible to external pressures, which can be very effective. This is not the USSR, which was self-sustaining state, so that the sanctions had its meaning.
How then to explain that Belarus — perhaps the most independent country in Eastern Europe? She fend off pressure from the West and from the East, the official Minsk hard and boldly conflict with the U.S. and the EU, and Russia.
The answer is simple: no one does not want to talk to Lukashenko seriously because no one so he does not "get it". I'm not talking about the Libyan scenario. There are many other instruments. Right now there is talk that the EU may impose sanctions on the company "Belneftekhim", will not be buying Belarusian oil products. It is difficult to give a prognosis because it will hit Europe on his own business.
But the EU has much leverage to exert pressure without harm to themselves. This prohibition of loans from international financial institutions (IMF, World Bank, etc.) .. This prohibition lend Belarusian commercial banks. (In fact, according to the IMF report, its gold reserves National Bank lent times in these banks.) The prohibition to sell Eurobonds. (They just sold in January 2011, when European politicians loudly outraged by the repression in Belarus.) This blockage of Belarus' accession to the World Trade Organization, which will enter partners in the Customs Union of Belarus — Russia and Kazakhstan. That is, if the West was really a desire to free the political prisoners, the this is done at times.
The same goes for Russia. That is as much as six months Moscow media war waged against Lukashenko, showed the TV series "The Godfather", but does not use oil, gas, credit leverage.
The pressure on the Lukashenko regime — it is a question of political will.