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Unemployment and poverty: if we don't help Ukraine, Belarus' industry will fail

Lukashenka's policy aggravates the situation in Ukraine and leads Belarusians to poverty / collage by Ulad Rubanau, Euroradio

Experts believe that in the near future the Belarusian industry will be paralyzed with the GDP shrinking by 10-15% in 2022. It means huge unemployment and the Belarusians not having money even for those few goods, which will remain in the country.

These are the results of the aggression against Ukraine, which Lukashenka has allowed.

The problem for most industries is that the Belarusian market is too small to keep the enterprises running, and partners around the world refuse to cooperate. In addition, production often requires intermediate imported goods. 

There are still banks in Belarus that have not fallen under the EU and U.S. sanctions. Therefore, they can still make payments for such goods in dollars and euros. But since Belarus was promised the same sanctions as Russia, the country may also be disconnected from SWIFT. Then one can forget about any international payments.

You might as well close the enterprises

Even the most profitable enterprises will not be able to stay afloat for long / Euroradio

By early 2021, industry contributed 25.5% of GDP. It employed 23.5% of workers in Belarus - more than 1 million people. In 2021, industry was the main driver of economic growth at the expense of external demand. This year it is not about calculating losses of specific enterprises, but about the shutdown of almost all industry and huge unemployment figures.

"You could just hang a barn lock on all the enterprises of the Belarusian industry. Within the next few weeks, it will completely shut down, says economist Aleg Mazol. "Only the companies that receive Belarusian raw materials and work for the domestic market will remain in operation. The hope that we will be able to sell this production, as our prime minister fantasizes, to Russia or China, is unfeasible".

The situation in Russia is bad, just like in Belarus, and our most profitable spheres, fertilizers and oil refining, are not in demand there. There is enough of domestic production.

"It would be a disaster for the Belarusian industry. There will be unemployment. All businesses, the entire petrochemical industry will collapse. BMZ, BelAZ, MAZ won't work. Tractor Plant will stop working. It would be an economic catastrophe".

No bright future for the giants of the Belarusian industry /

While Belaruskali allowed earning $2.41 billion from exports in 2020, now very small volumes of potash will be consumed in Belarus. It is very difficult to sell the rest, even to those who want to buy it, because of calculations and logistics.

Instead of IT there will be private farms / Euroradio

Aleg Mazol is sure that the Belarusian government has only one chance to prevent a catastrophe. 

"First, it is necessary to withdraw troops from the border with Ukraine, to return them to the barracks. It should be announced that Belarus will not participate in the war with Ukraine under any circumstances. Second, Russian troops should be banned from air raids from the territory of Belarus and missile attacks on Ukrainian cities. Russian troops should be withdrawn from the territory of Belarus, it is forbidden for them to cross the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. Third, it is necessary to start supplying humanitarian aid to Ukraine. This is the only chance for Belarus to get something back. It should be done right now".

Ukraine is being bombed from Belarusian territory. Borodyanka near Kyiv / UNIAN

You can hide in a vegetable garden or be called a man

Economist Yaraslau Ramanchuk notes that sanctions against Belarus as an aggressor will expand. According to his predictions, the industry will be paralyzed in a month or two in Belarus and Russia.

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