Life under sanctions now normal for Belarus
There are no prerequisites for sanctions to be lifted / shutterstock.com
The sanctions are working despite the growth of trade, and their effect is becoming commonplace in Belarus, said the expert.
The growth in Belarusian foreign trade with the Baltic states in the last months of 2021 doesn't mean the sanctions aren't working. Most likely, Belarusian partners have been shopping for supplies before the day when cooperation with Belarus will be banned, independent analyst Syarhei Chaly told Euroradio.
Thus, the positive trend is short-term. It is important that the sanctions not only cause losses once they come into force but become a new format for dialogue between the West and Belarus.
"There is nothing surprising here. The way U.S. sanctions are designed: new contracts cannot be signed after January 1, 2022. The old contracts continue to work until April 1 of this year. Accordingly, the idea is to recruit as many as possible. That's what Yara has been doing, delaying this moment of withdrawal, realizing that we'll have to bend anyway".
So it's likely that these months are a one-time situation. Like the spike in sales in the Minsk metro before the fare hike. Let's look at the trend for the next two quarters and try to assess whether the sanctions are working.
Surely, they are not ideal, they have holes But the trick is that these holes will subsequently be discovered and gradually closed. The U.S. mechanism has been invented for this very purpose, and it allows sanctions to be swiftly adjusted. In this case, they [the U.S. - Euroradio] act as the gold standard, and everyone else begins to be guided by it.