Facts & Figures
Key Economic Indicators
Setting the scene
Far from distancing itself from its Soviet past, Belarus under President Aleksander Lukashenko has bucked the Eastern European trend by renewinglinks with Moscow. In April 1996, Belarus and Russia signed a 'union' treaty deepening economic integration and a customs union is in place. The Soviet flag has been re-introduced and Russian is the state language.
There seems little sign of economic reform, despite ten per cent falls in GDP and real wages in 1995. Communists control Parliament, and the President, an economic populist, recently extended his already wide executive powers. In March 1996, the albeit small-scale privatisation programme was frozen and registration of new businesses banned. As a result, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cancelled its standby programme.
Gennady S Aleinikov, Chair of the Board, National Bank of Belarus
TD Vinnikova, Former Chair of the Board, National Bank of the Republic of Belarus