E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 3, 2017 - ISSN 1822-5578|
1. Basic trends of March
2. Chronicle of key events
3.1. On a sealed muzzle and a coiled spring
3.2. Who governs the country?
4.1. The Economist noticed signs of revival in the world economy
4.2. Paper-like economic revival
4.3. Waiting for positive dynamics
5.1. IMF and EFSD bide their time
6. Our forecast for April
Protest activity generated by decree No.3 "On preventing social dependency" was carried over from February to March. The choice that the power was facing (pretend that nothing happened or use force) turned out to be imaginary. In critical situations "the state for the people" can only use force. The "punchfest" on March 9 was approved by Alexander Lukashenko personally, when he urged to pluck out "raisins from buns".
According to the information published on the site of Viasna Human Rights Center since March 3 over 900 people were subjected to repressions in one form or another; over 100 people were arrested. At the moment of writing this article 21 people are in KGB remand prison; 17 of them are detained with the charge under Part 3 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code (training or other preparation of persons to participate in "mass riots", as well as financing or other material support of such activities).
In the end of February, we supposed that forceful scenario would knock off the wave of protests, and it can be observed after March 25.
According to our forecast, the Belarusian-Russian oil-and-gas conflict should have ended by the end of March or the beginning of April. Traditionally, the only way to resolve such a conflict is a personal meeting of the head of states. It happened on April 3 in St. Petersburg. Its main outcome is Lukashenko's declaration that all outstanding questions were resolved.
As a reminder, we supposed that Belarus would be obliged to recognize its debt for gas in 2016. However, that wouldn't mean that the debt would be paid out in "real" money (there are several possible variants of restructuring the debt), but Russia would meet the only ally halfway and would supply gas for the internal Russian price.
The first part of our forecast came true completely. As for the second part, the Russian side only promised to give discounts to Belarus for the period from 2018 to 2019. The size of the discount was never mentioned.
How the declared in St. Petersburg solutions will translate to life is a separate question. But the decisions of the heads of states should be secured with appropriate documents by April 13.
The forecast on the weakening of Belarusian ruble didn't come true, but let us say as a kind of justification that the forecast spoke about the end of March or the beginning of April, so there is still time for that.
IISEPS executive board