Will Russia help him? Why Lukashenka came from Sochi with nothing
Vladimir Putin / pixabay
Is Russia still willing to support its only ally?
Economist and academic director of BEROC Katsiaryna Barnukova believes that Russia is still willing to support Belarus economically. But the volume of this support is not what would make the Belarusian government happy.
"We have not seen any fantastic support from Russia so far. On the one hand, there is something. We have agreed on new oil and gas prices. But we don't know on what terms. Right now we're paying a little more for oil than India and China.
But there are things that are disappointing. We've heard a lot about refinancing debts, but it turns out there won't be refinancing. We're not going to get new loans that we can use to pay off the old ones. There will be restructuring. We will be told: you will have to pay that much money this year, but let us extend it for several years instead of a year.
Refinancing gave Belarus certain freedom of action. This means that we could use the money allocated to us, for example, to pay off an old loan to China. Restructuring means that with the servicing of the debt to China, or with the payment on Eurobonds, which is due next year, Belarus has to solve the problem on its own.
There could be different reasons. Perhaps, it does not have so much money to support Belarus as well. Perhaps, Russia simply has a lot of other problems and cannot get around to the economic problems of Belarus".