Minsk seeks Tbilisi’s assistance in settling relations with West
At the opening of the 2nd session of the Belarusian-Georgian intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation, the committee’s chairman, Belarus’ Agriculture and Foodstuffs Minister Leonid Zayats said that President Lukashenko was planning his first official visit to Georgia in April 2015. Belarus seeks to strengthen cooperation with other Post-Soviet countries in order to dilute the pressure from the Kremlin. The president may also be expecting a zealous reaction from the Kremlin, which could help him to obtain financial support in exchange for a demonstration of loyalty. In addition, the Belarusian authorities continue sending signals to Western capitals, implying that they seek to reduce Belarus’ dependence on Russia by increasing contacts with ’’pro-Western’’ Kiev and Tbilisi. They also expect Ukrainian and Georgian leaders to help normalising Belarus’ relations with the EU and the US.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.