MINSK, 7 October (BelTA) – The state did not let the sanctions affect the living standards of Belarusians, Belarus' Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said as he briefed representatives of the military, security and law enforcement on the military, political, social and economic situation, BelTA has learned.
“We have been living under the sanctions for a long time. This concerned individual enterprises, some sectors of the economy (petrochemical industry). In general, it had little to no effect on the country. Starting from the end of 2021, Belarus has been living under massive economic pressure. The aviation, potash, oil refining, woodworking industries, as well as individual enterprises were subjected to significant restrictions. In fact, the sanctions targeted our industry giants that have a large number of partner enterprises and a great impact on the performance of related industries,” Roman Golovchenko said.
According to him, the most powerful attack in the history of sanctions was unleashed at the very beginning of 2022. “The sanctions that have been imposed on Belarus, as well as on the Russian Federation, were of an unprecedented scale. The ultimate goal of the West is obvious: to deliver a blow on the welfare of people, worsen their standard of living, spark discontent and tension in society, since the enterprises under the sanctions will not be able to sell products, pay salaries, bonuses and consequently to ensure the standard of living our people are used to,” the head of government said.
As Roman Golovchenko noted, the Belarusian export that fell under direct bans is estimated at about $15-16 billion. This is what was directly banned. In addition to that, an estimated $4-5 billion was lost when the export to Ukraine became impossible. “Thus, we could lose about $20 billion because of these sanctions. This is a very significant amount for the country's balance of payments. And a failure to take adequate measures would have a serious impact on the economy,” he stressed.
The prime minister said that the sanctions are implemented in three different ways. “The first one is a direct ban on the supply of goods, on transportation, transit, logistics as well as financial restrictions that hamper the export of even non-sanctioned goods. The second one is a ban on imports, including technologies and equipment, from unfriendly countries, in order to slow down our technological advancement. The third way is an attempt to paralyze our financial system. This includes disconnection of our banks from the SWIFT system, the ban on transactions with the National Bank, the ban on the provision of financial resources to the government of Belarus and state-run organizations. The hardest blow was delivered on our economic mainstays and industrial flagships. The sanctions also affect related sectors through industry, especially wholesale trade, cargo transportation,” the head of government explained.
“I won't say that we were prepared for this, nevertheless, we took certain preventive measures. We challenged the attempts to destroy our country with our consistent work in a mobilization mode,” Roman Golovchenko noted.