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13.05.2013

Belarus closes market for goods from Customs Union  ? 129

9:06, — Politics

Belarus closes market for goods from Customs Union

Minsk does not fulfil its obligations on the Common Economic Space.

The Eurasian Economic Commission already has a list of complaints to Belarus. The main problem is that the Belarusian government does everything to restrict access of Russian goods to the country's domestic market in spite of promises, Expert (Kazakhstan) writes.

Reasons are obvious. Amid economic instability and problems with financial solvency of the country's citizens, the Belarusian authorities use all means to prevent access of imported goods to the domestic market in order to make people buy Belarusian goods. It is a widespread practice in Belarus: Every time when products of local manufacturers cannot compete with imported goods, the authorities use administrative leverage to help Belarusian companies. It was not of much interest until recently, when Belarus joined the Customs Union, which supposes that its members do not have protectionist measures. Official Minsk, however, ignores these rules, the step that makes Russian manufacturers angry.

If one looks only at the macroeconomic statistics, he will notice no problems. Russia imported goods at a sum of 5.7 billion dollars to Belarus in the first quarter of 2013. But at a closer look one may find out that the most part of import accounts for energy. As for consumer goods, they often cannot enter the Belarusian market. Problems with import arise every time when the authorities notice that similar Belarusian goods are not so eagerly bought as they could be.

According to the real statistics, Russia exported 2,100 tractors to Belarus in 2012, while Belarus exported 59,500 Belarusian tractors. Rosagromash already complained about neighbours to the Eurasian Economic Commission. The Russian company says in an official statement that Belarus organises tendering processes in such a way that Belarusian companies always win them.

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