Isolation of Belarus has taken a heavy blow to the Belarusian ruble

This writes William Mauldin in today's issue of The Wall Street Journal.

The fall of the Belarusian currency continues. In recent weeks, the Belarusian ruble fell against the dollar more than 50%. The authoritarian regime of Lukashenko is trying to plug the holes in finance after, as Russia abandoned its promise to provide assistance to the tune of several billion dollars.

According to some analysts, the devaluation of the Belarusian ruble will restore competitiveness in export markets, but a sharp drop in the purchasing power of currencies undermined Belarusians abroad and created a risk for companies that rely on imported components to be purchased in dollars or euros.

In theory, individuals can buy dollars at the rate recommended by the National Bank — for 4500 rubles. But in fact, customers often have to wait in line for a long time in the banks, until someone will bring dollars to sell.

62-year-old pensioner Marina told the newspaper that since the beginning of the year lays his pension for a rainy day in the U.S.. But now she is, she said, would be to leave the ruble pension account with high interest rates to offset the risk.

In the view of economists, the Belarusian economy is too small and isolated to its problems spread to other Eastern European countries. In this case, the ability of Belarus to pay off debts and raise new loans was questionable.

Last week, Finance Minister Kudrin said that This year, Belarus will receive only $ 1 billion in aid from Russia, not $ 2.7 billion from a group of countries led by Russia, as discussed earlier. This is probably a reaction to the reluctance of Russia Belarus invite her to buy strategic assets, suggested Timothy Ash of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Currency reserves of Belarus This year, reduced: Russia raised the price of oil and gas, deepening isolation of Minsk from Europe and the former Soviet republics. U.S. and EU have threatened to expand sanctions after, as one of the ex-presidential candidates, was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Moscow has also expressed dissatisfaction with repression.

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