Zlotnikau: Russia affects Belarus’ economy more than WTO

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Economist Leanid Zlotnikau discussed the matter with Euroradio. Belarus started negotiating with the WTO at the beginning of the 90s but has never aspired to join it, he noted.

 Russia influences the development of the Belarusian economy much more, Zlotnikau thinks.

Zlotnikau: "It will depend on Russia’s pressure whether something will be changing in the economy – switching to market economy, privatization, protection of private property… Lukashenka was right when he said that we were affected by the WTO competition after Russia had joined the organization. And there will be pressure (Russia’s pressure. – Euroradio’s note). It will be more important than the WTO’s pressure for economic liberalization.”

At the same time, Russia’s pressure is rather limited, Zlotnikau said. Free pricing had to be introduced in the Single Economic Space at the beginning of 2013. However, Belarusian authorities have not stopped controlling the prices.

Negotiations about Belarus’ membership in the WTO will be resumed after the 4-year break in Geneva on May 16.

Photo: svaboda.org