The statement by the National Bank chief calming people down ahead of the New Year's Day is propaganda.
Prof. Barys Zhaliba spoke to charter97.org about Nadzezhda Yermakova's remark that “nothing bad will happen to the national currency after the New Year”.
“We'll see what we'll see, as people say. She calmed people down, but it's propaganda and her work. We will get 2 billion dollars from Moscow, it will be a lifebuoy for us. Analysts try to calculate when this money will end and how it can be spent. I think the most part will be spent on keeping the Belarusian ruble at the exchange market. In other words, we will eat this sum. We can live on it for at least 6 months, taking into account that we'll get the last tranche of 440 million dollars from the EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund. The future depends on our luck and export,” the expert thinks.
The economist noted Minsk agreed with Russia on oil supplies for 6 months, but the situation on the potash market is unclear.
“It's also important how the situation with bonds, which were planned by the Ministry of Finance, will develop. It plans to place bonds worth $800 million in different markets, but it doesn't mean it will really place this volume of bonds. Thirdly, we need to sell large assets. As far as I know, the prospects for selling the second half of the Mozyr oil refinery are becoming clear, but there are disagreements on the price of MTS mobile operator. There are many factors. If they work, we will possibly survive next year without a sharp devaluation of the Belarusian ruble, similar to what we had in 2011. If some factors don't work contrary to expectations of the government, we'll have a fast devaluation, like that we are having at the end of this year,” Barys Zhaliba says.
Nadzezhda Yermakova, the chief of the National Bank of Belarus, tried to calm the population down during a recent online conference.
“Nothing bad will happen to the national currency after the New Year. There won't be a devaluation like that we had in 2011. Be quiet if you have a deposit in Belarusian rubles, there's no danger to your money. Celebrate the New Year and don't worry,” the National Bank chief said.
Photo: Radio Svaboda