Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Lukashenka suggests imposing exit duty on Belarusians traveling abroad for shopping

Alyaksey Areshka, naviny.by

An exit duty should be imposed on Belarusians who travel abroad for shopping, Alyaksandr Lukashenka suggested Friday while visiting the Motavela bicycle and motorcycle plant in Minsk, BelaPAN said.

"Why do we create favorable conditions for bringing imports into the country?" the Belarusian leader said. "We have our own refrigerators. Why do we create favorable conditions for bringing refrigerators from abroad?"

"We are criticized for being a poor, poverty-stricken country, whereas our people annually take up to $3 billion abroad, into the European Union, and bring goods that we can manufacture as well," Mr. Lukashenka said. "I directed long ago that [measures be taken] up to and including requiring people to pay an exit duty if they go abroad, no matter for what purpose.

This will be as follows: we serve you at the border and you should pay $100 per head and may go abroad. In this case he will come to our store and buy our refrigerator and will not carry garbage from the European Union, made no one knows where. And they [authorities abroad] will rub their hands with glee because we have taken $3 billion there and their sales and production are on the rise, while we are flouncing about here like fools."