Updated at 18:12,15-06-2018

Vesti FM: Stealing from Russia is pleasant, of course


A recipe of perfect economy from Lukashenka. Observer Maksim Kononenko comments on the latest initiatives of the Belarusian dictator on air of Vesti FM.

Aliaksandr Lukashenka is known as a thrifty manager. For example, he recently registered OAO Belarusian Potash Company that will trade in the same market where ZAO Belarusian Potash Company, with chair of its Supervisory Board Baumgertner is being held in custody now, had worked before.

Lukashenka's decree reads: "Setting up OAO BPC will allow Belarus to keep the well-recognised international brand, to save time and resources for setting up its own trading company and to use all achievements of ZAO Belarusian Potash Company, in particular, contacts with customers." It's honest. He doesn't lie. This is expropriation.

However, it seems to be not enough for Mr Lukashenka. Stealing from Russia is of course pleasant – it is such a large country. But games with Uralkali can have a sad end!

If Russia closes its border, stops buying and selling, what will he do? He has 9.5 million of Belarusian citizens for such cases. The Belarusian ruler invents an excellent tool to refill the declining funds – collect $100 from Belarusians who cross the border. "It will look like that: we provide services on the border for you, you pay 100 dollars each and go abroad," Aliaksandr Lukashenka said. "In this case he will come to our shop and buy our fridge instead of bringing rubbish of unknown origin from the European Union."

The Belarusian ruler expects the step to save 3 billion dollars that Belarusians spend annually in the EU plus $100 a person for crossing the border – it's almost a billion! Enough to cover the budget deficit.

I wouldn't stop here. I would oblige Belarusians to buy only Belarusian goods. Own refrigerators, own haul trucks and, of course, own potash fertilisers at the price set by the newly created OAO Belarusian Potash Company. That will be a really perfect economy.