Meeting with presidential aides Nikolai Sherstnev and Vladimir Domanevsky

    In the current situation on the financial and foreign currency markets Belarus will not restrain the import of goods, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he heard out a report of Aide to the Belarusian President for Vitebsk Oblast Nikolai Sherstnev and Aide to the Belarusian President for Grodno Oblast Vladimir Domanevsky on 22 December.

    First of all, the head of state touched upon the situation in the Belarusian economy which has an impact on the foreign currency market. Since people are concerned about the alleged devaluation of the Belarusian currency, they are trying to buy as many products as possible. “Our warehouses were overloaded with washing machines, household equipment, microwave ovens, irons, and other devices. Some people bought five of six items of these goods. It is good that these people helped reduce the warehouse inventory. As a result, we have earned a lot of money,” the President remarked.

    At the same time, the head of state is surprised by the fact that people prefer to buy imported products in stead of Belarusian-made ones. “Imported goods are slightly more expensive that local TV sets, washing machines, or microwave ovens. However, if imported products fail to function in the future, people will have to pay ten times as much,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked. “It is up to people to decide. Today I have given an instruction which is especially relevant for Minsk not to restrict the sale of imported goods and to prevent trade agents from lining their pockets.”

    “The profitability of sales of such goods should be at least 2-2.5% until prices become stable. But it is unacceptable to restrain import. What for? Both imported and Belarusian-made TV sets, irons should be sold in Belarus. However, imported products will be much more expensive than Belarusian ones. It will be beneficial for us. Besides, we will not impose additional taxes,” the head of state emphasized.

    “As far as the foreign currency market is concerned, people have already understood that it is unacceptable to pay an exorbitant price for U.S. dollars and euros. All in all, it is much better to buy commodities than U.S. dollars. It is unclear what will happen with U.S. dollars tomorrow,” the President added.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko wanted to know how the measures of the government and the National Bank will affect the situation in Vitebsk Oblast and Grodno Oblast. “I will also listen to the other aides in order to have a clear picture of the situation in the regions relying on the reports of governors and president’s aides. The situation in the regions is different from that in Minsk. What is the situation there?” the Belarusian leader wondered.

    Apart from that, Aleksandr Lukashenko was interested in the state of affairs in the economy in Vitebsk Oblast and Grodno Oblast: “What are the main concerns and areas of focus.” The head of state also wanted to listen to the aides’ evaluation of the performance of senior executives in these regions.

    The President was informed about the latest achievements of social and economic development, the situation on the foreign currency and consumer markets in Vitebsk Oblast and Grodno Oblast.