Lukashenka suggests $100 border 'exit duty' for shoppers


Visiting the Motovelo bicycle and motorcycle factory in Minsk on Friday, Aliaksandr Lukashenka proposed to introduce an 'exit duty' for physical persons who travel out of Belarus for shopping.

"Today, despite being branded abroad as a poor country of beggers, our people take out up to $3 billion across the border to the European Union and bring back some junk and rags that we produce here as well. In fact, I ordered some time back to take measures, including a duty to be paid at the border by those traveling to shop that junk," the Belarus is quoted by as saying.

"It will bne like this: we service you at the border, you pay $100 per person and proceed further across the border," the head of state said.

Economy commentator Leanid Zaika reckons that the statement made by Aliaksandr Lukashenka is pure emotions. He doubts this measure will be implemented, because this will mean violation of all possible international standards, including the Human Rights Charter and the article that deals with the freedom of movement.

"I think it was just an emotional outburst. Emotions. The president seems very worried about the fate of the country. This is no wonder if you see someone going to neighboring Lithuania to buy potatoes which are cheaper there. You can't watch it quietly. By the way, as soon as the autumn comes, we observe some stunning things happening. They being to suggest introducing taxes for jobless (440 000 people) or duties for exiting the country on shopping tours," noted Zaika.