Belarus will keep circa USD 1.5 billion from export duties on oil products until 2025
On November 28th, the Council of the Republic approved amendments to the intergovernmental agreement on payments and transfer of export duties on oil products. Belarus will be able to keep roughly USD 125 million in her budget each month, but not more than USD 1.5 billion a year. If oil prices drop below USD 70/barrel, Belarus’ proceeds will drop and she will need additional funds to repay her public debt. The government is anticipated to continue negotiations with Russia in order to receive better compensation for Russia’s grand tax manoeuvre in the petrochemical industry. When the intergovernmental agreement is ratified, Belarus will still have the possibility to resume her export schemes with antioxidants and bituminous mixtures and increase their export volumes in order to compensate for the lower oil price and lower profitability of the industry.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.