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Russia banned Belarus' foodstuffs without Putin's consent Investigating authorities of Belarus and Russia will look for those who were responsible for ban on the supply of Belarusian products to Russia in December. 
Common financial market in Eurasian Economic Union by 2025? At the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at the level of Heads of State in Moscow on December 23, the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia signed a package of documents aimed at the development of integration and improvement of the activities of the nascent union.  According to the press service of the President of Belarus, services for which a single market within the EEU will take effect already on January 1, 2015, has been determined. 


World Bank grants Ukraine $380 million in next tranche of loan The World Bank has granted Ukraine the next tranche of the loan. The tranche of almost $380 million is designed to help develop Ukraine's energy industry.  Some $50 million are allocated for the creation of a system of green energy. These are primarily solar and wind generators. Another $2.5 million will be directed to the reform of the Ministry of Energy. The project is part of a program of the World Bank designed to support Ukraine, which was announced in March 2014. The loan is allocated for 18 years.


President: Belarus will not restrict import Belarus will not restrict import in connection with the difficult situation on the financial and currency markets. This was said by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on December 22. The head of state took reports from the president's aides in the Vitebsk and Grodno regions. The President asked about the situation in the region after the decision of the government and the National Bank to restrict introduce a 30% fee on foreign currency purchases.


President Lukashenko calls Russia's food sanctions against Belarus stupid The media asked Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on December 19 about Russia's sanctions against Belarusian dairy and meat companies.
Belarus' pharmaceutical market estimated at about $1 billion The pharmaceutical market in Belarus is now estimated at about one billion U.S. dollars. Half of this money should be earned by Belarusian producers. Such plans were voiced at the December 19 international pharmaceutical forum held in Minsk. Development and production of foreign analogues requires huge costs.  To attract investors, Belarus needs to modernize the existing production facilities and create new businesses. 
Belarus introduces temporary 30% fee for buying foreign currency Belarus has introduced a temporary 30-percent fee for those who wish to buy foreign currency. This was reported by the Belarus National Bank on December 19. This decision is due to the increased demand for foreign money and concerns of both legal and natural persons. Companies and banks will pay the fee when buying currency at the exchange, while the citizens will be charged a fee for buying currency in banks. These funds will be transferred to the budget.
Belarus President promises economic stabilization in H1 2015 After a visit to the State Committee of Forensic Examinations, Alexander Lukashenko answered questions from the media. The journalists wanted to know about reforms in the judicial system, the upcoming trilateral meeting of the contact group on Ukraine and the problem with restrictions on Belarusian food exports to Russia.


President: Exchange rate of Belarusian ruble depends on people Increase in export and boosting sales of Belarusian products. These are the main topics of the meeting on economic issues hosted by the Belarus President. In general, the situation in the Russian financial market, the main export market of Belarus, remains unpredictable. According to the President, Belarus will not rush to devalue its ruble after Russia. The stability in the currency market is the task of the Government and the entire banking system. However, people's behavior plays an important role.
Putin blames sinking Russian ruble on oil and gas prices The President of Russia considers a sharp decline in world prices for oil and gas the main factors of the fall of the Russian ruble. Vladimir Putin said this in Moscow at the press conference on December 18.  The President acknowledged that the Western sanctions also played their role in the current economic situation. But Putin believes the damage from them has been strongly exaggerated.
Alexander Lukashenko: We're not going to devalue the Belarusian ruble after Russia Belarus will not follow Russia in devaluing its national currency. This was stated by the Belarus President at a meeting on economic issues. The meeting discussed the situation in the real economy as well as the curbing of unreasonable increases in prices for goods and services in the domestic market.  According to the President, the stability of the currency market is the task of the government and the banking system led by the National Bank.


Belarusian MPs adopt draft budget 2015 in second reading A draft law on the national budget for 2015 has been adopted by Belarusian MPs in the second reading. Traditionally, the main financial document of the country retains social orientation.  It aims to reduce external debt and increase the salaries of state employees. Other priorities include the financing of individual sectors of the economy, its modernization and increase in export.


Belarus PM calls for ramping up export to non-Customs Union states Belarus needs to take the most decisive steps to increase export to countries outside the Customs Union. This was stated by the Belarus Government on December 16. The majority of Belarusian goods is sold in the Russian market. The situation with oil prices and the devaluation of the Russian ruble poses a potential economic threat to Belarus' security. Revenue from sales to Russia have declined by more than $700 million. However, even against this background, Belarus economy has grown in January-November 2014 by 1.7%.
Russia questions quality of Belarusian salt Russia is again displeased with the quality of Belarusian products. This time violations were found in salt by the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare of Russia (Rospotrebnadzor).  According to the Russian side, products of the Belarusian companies Mozyrsol and Belaruskali allegedly contains various impurities. Supplies have not been banned but sanitary inspection rules at checkpoints have been toughened.


Russia lifts restrictions on Belarus' meat, dairy supplies Russia is gradually lifting the ban on the supply of Belarusian foodstuffs. It is important to note that Belarusian companies have not changed the production technology. It means that sausage is stuffed with the same meat and the same cows give milk but the harmful substances that Russia mentioned are gradually disappearing somewhere. Regardless of the trade disputes, Moscow residents and other Russians have not changed their tastes and regularly buy Belarusian goods.  
Belarus-Russia breeding transgenic goats as part of interstate project Last week, the Union State of Russia and Belarus turned 15. The treaty was signed on December 8, 1999. Since then, the integration has gone much further.  Now the two countries are implementing a number of joint projects. One of them is the breeding of transgenic goats. Here it is - goat number 1. It is the first transgenic goat in the world. This goat was born seven years ago. Natalia, a researcher at the laboratory of reproduction and genetic engineering at the Belarusian Academy of Sciences, says the kid's birth was a sensation for the scientific community.
Will Russia's economic crisis hit Belarus in 2015? The end of 2014 was not at all easy for Belarus and Russia. The countries have recently resolved the food dispute connected with Russia's ban on Belarus' dairy and meet supplies due to some dangerous substances. Going into 2015 Belarus needs to take into account the economic problems in the Russian market, which the country greatly depends on. 
Alexander Lukashenko appoints head of Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park Alexander Lukashenko made a number of appointments on 15 December.  MP Marat Zhilinsky was nominated rector of the Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President.


Belarus needs to diversify export amid neighbors' economic problems, Alexander Lukashenko says On December 12, the Belarusian President met with the country's Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei to discuss Belarus' multi-vector foreign policy. The head of state touched on issues related to foreign policy and economy. He underlined the importance of increasing export. This is Mr Lukashenko's second such statement in as many days. Russia, Belarus' main trading partner, is experiencing one of its worst economic crises in recent years.


Export diversification among Belarus' top priorities in 2015 Causes of the recent Belarus-Russia food dispute do not lie in Belarus, said Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on December 11. The head of state held a meeting on Belarus' topical economic issues. The meeting, held amid turmoil on the market of Russia, Belarus' key trading partner, aimed to discuss Belarus' performance in foreign markets.
Income tax in Belarus may increase to 13% Belarus continues to support families with children: in 2015, record amounts of money will be allocated for these purposes from the country's budget. The House of Representatives, the lower house of the Belarus parliament, adopted the 2015 budget of Belarus in the first reading on December 11.  Next year's budget will focus on decreasing the national debt, maintaining the achieved level of funding for health and education and increased support for families with children. Great Patriotic War veterans will get a total of Br300 billion.
Belarus budget for 2015: Social welfare state amid tiny growth The lower house of the Belarusian Parliament, the House of Representatives, adopted the country's budget for 2015 in the first reading on December 11. The main financial document has a surplus of 15 trillion rubles. National budget revenues for 2015 will amount to about 157 trillion rubles. Budget priorities in 2015 will be the reduction of public debt, maintaining the achieved level of health and education funding and more support for families with children. Social orientation has been maintained in the budget.
Alexander Lukashenko wants Belarus' economy to grow quicker The Belarusian head of state instructed the government to achieve higher figures in 2015 than it was initially planned. It is projected that the growth would be less than 1%. According to Alexander Lukashenko, the country should take every opportunity to improve its macroeconomic figures.
President says Belarus not to blame for food dispute with Russia One should not look for causes of the recent Belarus-Russia food dispute in Belarus. This statement was made by Alexander Lukashenko on December 11. The President held a meeting on Belarus' topical economic issues. Alexander Lukashenko wanted to hear about the current situation in foreign markets. In particular, he asked to describe the situation in Russia, whose rouble has been weakening.


Russia to lift ban on Belarusian meat and dairy products Belarus will resume shipments of meat and dairy products to Russia after Russian sanitary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor's restrictions. First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov of Russia is going to give an order to lift the ban on the delivery of Belarus' products. This was reported by member of the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission Sergei Rumas at the end of the meeting of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) board in Moscow December 10.
Belarus, Latvia point out importance of improved border infrastructure The issue of diversification of supply and choice of supply chains is very important for Belarus. This topic topped the agenda of the December 10 meeting of the Belarusian-Latvian intergovernmental commission on economic and R&D cooperation, which was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus. The sides discussed prospects for cooperation in almost all key sectors of the economy. Projects in agriculture, construction, education and science are in the center of attention.


Russian sanitary watchdog checking Belarusian food companies amid dispute over food quality A large-scale monitoring of Belarusian food processing enterprises began on December 9. Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia's sanitary watchdog, in tandem with the Belarusian Veterinary Service and experts from the Eurasian Economic Commission, started to check the plants that have come under restrictions.   Rosselkhoznadzor blacklisted 23 Belarusian enterprises. Deliveries of meat and some dairy products have been temporarily suspended. After government talks in Moscow in early December, the sides agreed an inspection to check Belarusian processing plants.


Belarus President warns Minsk mayor against price hikes ahead of Christmas Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko supported the idea to establish a municipal trade network in Minsk during the meeting with Minsk mayor Andrei Shorets. Mr President also asked the recently appointed mayor to make sure that prices don’t go up in stores in the run-up to New Year, one of the main public holidays in Belarus [December 31 - January 1].
Belarus waiting for 2015 budget to be adopted Belarus' budget for 2015 has been planned with a surplus. As expected, revenues will exceed expenses by almost 16 trillion Belarusian rubles [about $1.5 billion]. On December 8 the draft budget was considered by members of the House of Representatives [lower chamber of Belarus' parliament] and heads of ministries. The budget will still be socially oriented. State support will be granted to priority sectors of the economy.
President Lukashenko calls Shakutin exemplary businessman Alexander Lukashenko met with Chairman of the Board of Directors of OAO Amkodor Alexander Shakutin to discuss how investment projects in the field of engineering are being implemented. The President praised the work of the successful businessman, senator and head of the Belarusian Tennis Federation. Today Alexander Shakutin is implementing 15 major projects in Belarus alone. Other 10 are in the pipeline. He has plans to develop travel services and create an agricultural holding company.


What attracts Polish businessmen in Belarus? What interesting do Polish businessmen find in Belarus today? How do Poles, who visited Minsk many years ago, discover Belarus' market again? Witold Wieteska, director of a Polish firm cooperating with Orsha Linen Mill:Our client from France has always said that this is the most beautiful flax in the world. This is Belarusian flax. Witold began to work in Belarus fourteen years ago. He literally fell in love with Belarusian flax. His company supplies this white gold to both Polish market and that of the EU.


Decree: $10,000 for third child in Belarus Young families with two minor children will be able to build housing using preferential loans with an interest of only 5%.  Such a measure is provided by a draft decree which Alexander Lukashenko discussed on December 5 with Minister of Labor and Social Protection Marianna Shchetkina. Long-term support of fertility and family capital were on the agenda.  DEMOGRAPHIC STATS Birth rate in Belarus has recently been pleasing. While in 2010, 109,000 kids were born per year, in 2014 the figure has increased by almost 9,000.
PM on food dispute with Russia: Belarus against any trade wars Belarus has fulfilled all the conditions of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission to resolve the situation with the supply of Belarus-made products to Russia, said December 5, said Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich. According to the head of the government, laboratory control was tightened at a number of processing plants: each batch of products is checked for compliance.


Brazil coast
Belarus-Brazil: Potash, tires and clothing dominate bilateral trade In a few days, the UN conference Rio+20 opens in Brazil. The Belarusian delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs will bring to Rio their principle offers. But Belarus is still interested in Brazil as in a promising market for Belarusian goods: today it is among the top ten major foreign economic partners of this country. Until 1960, Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil. The population of the metropolis is now around 13 million.