Economic collapse in Belarus has started
Belarus’ complicity with Russia in the military aggression against Ukraine will result in catastrophic consequences for our country, first of all – political consequences. In fact, Belarus has already been recognized as an aggressor country. Like Russia, it will face total isolation in the international arena. The political consequences entail economic ones. Like Russia, Belarus expects to be cut off from SWIFT. New sanctions will be added to the ones imposed earlier. The situation is becoming even more critical due to the direct consequences for the Belarusian economy of the sanctions imposed against Russia.
Thus, the Belarusian economy, like the Russian one, will face inevitable economic collapse and destruction. This process has already started. However, this does not mean that the economy will collapse in a flash. Certainly, not. It will be similar to the way blood flows out of cut veins. Life will leave the economic body slowly but steadily. This is the price of the reckless gamble of the current government – to participate in the military aggression against Ukraine. Figuratively speaking, this is the decision of a suicider slashing his wrists.
We are already witnessing the first signs of economic collapse. The exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble has collapsed. There are problems in the functioning of the country’s strategic enterprises: JSC “Belaruskali”, JSC “Mozyr Oil Refinery”, JSC “Naftan”, JSC “Grodno Azot”. Needless to say, these companies bring foreign currency to the country. And the situation with the prospects of their functioning seems to be bleak.
After the US sanctions and Lithuania’s ban on the transit of potash fertilizers to the port of Klaipeda, there was hope for their transit through Russia, and even plans to build a port in the Gulf of Finland for this purpose were announced. Now we can say goodbye to these dreams. Nobody knows what awaits Russia and its production of potash fertilizers, and who will take care of Belarus in such conditions.
The situation of both refineries is hopeless. Russia can provide them with crude oil because now it has no one to sell this crude oil to, and even China refuses to buy it for fear of US sanctions. But what can we do with that Russian oil? Who will buy refined products from us? After Belarus’ involvement in the war against Ukraine, we can no longer expect that large buyers of oil products, such as the Netherlands, Great Britain, Ukraine, will do business with us. And it’s not just about international economic sanctions. The civil society of these countries will require the governments and businesses to cease business with the aggressor country. At least, like every country that has been doing business in Belarus so far.
Russia will remain the only major trading partner for Belarus, if the word “major” can be applied to it at all. Trade in Russian goods with Russia will most likely be carried out in Russian rubles or, the way it was in the 90s, will be reduced to barter, as both countries will be cut off from international financial sources. In a few years the economic landscape of the two countries will change beyond recognition. Without investments and without the opportunities for modernization, their economy will degrade to the technological level of the 1950s and 1960s.
The catastrophic impoverishment of the Belarusian people will take place within a few years. The collapse of the Belarusian ruble has already led to a drop in wages in dollar terms. Very soon its coveted $500 level will become an unattainable dream again. And in a few years we can expect it 2 or 3 time fall end even more. The situation with the pension maintenance will be catastrophic as well.
So, in about 10 years, our isolated country will become the western border of the belt made of rogue states, which will include North Korea, Russia and Belarus. Of course, if the Belarusians give their consent to such a terrible, however, very probable scenario.