Lukashenko to restrict Russian presence in Belarus’ economy
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has dismissed statements on Belarus’ unwillingness to implement integration projects with Russia as nonsense.
He made this statement at a meeting with Yaroslavl Oblast Governor Sergei Yastrebov on January 30th. The tension between official Minsk and the Kremlin over the privatisation of Belarusian state property is growing. Privatisation is a condition for signing off a six-month Russian-Belarusian oil balance. The president is wary of the increased Russian presence in Belarus’ economy ahead of the presidential campaign. Lukashenko wants to reduce pressure from the Kremlin by using his long-standing contacts and connections in the Russian regions. In the coming year, Belarus’ government will do its utmost to restrict Russian business from penetrating the Belarusian economy, as it fears that the Kremlin might interfere with the 2015 presidential election.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.