Lukashenko anticipates reduction of social guarantees ahead of elections

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April 22, 2016 19:01

Speaking to workers at Protos Ltd in the Mogilev region, Lukashenko said that, the state would increase support for young families, where possible, including in acquiring property.

Currently, the Belarusian authorities are searching for additional sources to replenish the state budget. The authorities not only lack the resources to pump the population’s incomes ahead of the elections, but also cannot ensure that social guarantees will remain at today’s level. In fact, President Lukashenko is preparing public opinion for the state to gradually withdraw from the social sector. This will mean abandoning some populist social projects and transferring social responsibility onto the citizens.

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Minsk strengthens ties with Russian regional elites
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President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.