President Lukashenko expects reciprocal moves from Europe
On May 24th, at a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Martynov, President Lukashenko said, that in a political conflict between Belarus and the European Union, “the ball is on the EU side”.
Belarusian President demonstrates that he is not going to fulfill the requirements put forward by the EU: to release and rehabilitate political prisoners and to change the Belarusian electoral legislation. The Belarusian government finds acceptable the way the recent diplomatic crisis has been resolved, and after the return of the EU Ambassadors to Minsk intends to maintain the status quo.
Therefore President Lukashenko demonstrates to the EU that further development of the Belarus-EU dialogue depends on Brussels. Simultaneously, Lukashenko intensified regional integration within the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space. In particular, during a meeting with FM Martynov he discussed reorganization of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry in order to improve international trade.
Belarusian leadership recons that Belarus’ economic attractiveness as an entry point to the regional trade corridor with its customs benefits will outweigh the EU’s political claims. Therefore, while speaking in Polotsk on May 25th, President Alexander Lukashenko has called Belarus “a gateway to Eurasia”, and urged to carefully assess all the opportunities for economic cooperation, opening for the countries in the region.
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.