Lukashenka is blackmailing Russian investors threatening to sell enterprises to the West at high prices.
This comes from an economist Leu Marholin’s interview to the charter97.org web-site.
- Belarusian authorities yet again stated they would sell 83 enterprises, including the MTS mobile carrier and the Hrodna Azot plant. This time they are trying to make the sale to Austrian investors. Where is the catch, as Minsk has been always directed towards investors from Russia?
- I think that when someone is going to sell something, they do everything possible in order to jack up the price. In this sense Austrian experts may be attracted too. But it remains a question, whether this will give results, and how selling these 83 enterprises can improve the economic situation in Belarus. I think the answer to that is negative. First, because any to potential investor, who would want to purchase any enterprise, more important is the general situation in the country, what the enterprise represents and whether the price is adequate. There is a situation in Belarus, when there is a tendency for the prices to go down. Anyone, who would want to buy anything, thinks it is possible to wait to buy this or that enterprise cheaper. But I do not really believe that these several dozen enterprises, or at least half of them, will be bought and there is a line of western investors for them. It seems to me it is just a game.
- Does this mean that the Belarusian ruler by this is trying to trick and blackmail the Russian party, as if Austrians will buy it, if our price is not good with you?
- I think, there is the hope that they will manage to trick someone. There is still the memory of Beltransgaz, for which 5 billion dollars was paid, which was an overrated price in the opinion of come experts. But this was a political decision, which is perceived on the part of Lukashenka as if money can be received for other enterprises as well; first of all, from Russia, because they are interested in the general tendency.