Updated at 13:44,25-10-2021

Ukrainian media: Lukashenka made his fortune on war in Donbas


As any grey mediator the Belarusian dictator works on two fronts.

Non-marked Ukraine candies and the EU shellfish are delivered to the Russian Federation with Belarusian marks. Worse than that is the possibility to deliver unmarked Ukrainian arms with Belarusian line-code in Russia, reports “Delovaya Stolitsa” in Kiev.

Belarusians learned to repack

For the last nine months Belarus has managed to recover its fortune in external trade. From the same period last year foreign trade deficit has dropped by $ 1. 5 billion and now it is $ 1.9 billion. All thanks to Ukraine-Russia conflict. The most significant bonuses Minsk has received thanks to the imposed embargo by Kremlin in the late summer on a number of goods from the EU (it was the reaction of the Russian Federation on European imposed sanctions because of Russia’s military actions in eastern Ukraine). After that, Russian shops have been filled with packs of shrimps and mussels, salmon and trout, supplied from Belarus. According to the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus, for the last nine months the exports of trout to Russia have increased by 541times, frozen turkeys by 300 times, shrimp and shellfish has increased by nearly 200 times. It is surprising that the simultaneous import to Belarus from the EU has grown on the same commodity positions. According to the Belarusian economists, the repacking of European products to the Russian market has already brought the country about $0.6-0.7 billion.

The same scheme is being practiced in Belarus-Ukraine trade relations. Though it has been really hard for Kiev to drive Belarus at this point. In July the officials in Minsk alongside Russia introduced mercantile restrictions on some Ukrainian goods. Due to manipulations with licensing system the import of Ukrainian beer, confectionery products and potato was stopped. Ukraine got an immediate response. On July 17 Ukraine imposed import taxes (50-60%) on Belarusian dairy products, tires, electric bulbs, refrigerators and fertilizers. Only after that Minsk restarted Ukrainian goods licensing.

But Valery Pyatnitsky, acting minister on economic development and trade in Ukraine, stated that countervailing measures (increased duties) concerning trade disputes with Belarus have been frozen but not stopped. Now monitoring system is being exercised; the authorities check out whether Ukrainian suppliers regain the positions in the Belarusian market. But there are almost no points to find fault with. This year Belarusian importers have unexpectedly started to buy Ukrainian cheese; for the last nine months its import has reached $10 millions. So Belarusians continue “import repackage”. And Ukrainian cheese (with Belarusian marks) is being delivered in Russian shops.

Ukrainian confectionary products are also over imported in Belarus. The import of non-marked Ukrainian products, bricks of goods, or as it is mentioned in customs documents “shapeless mass”, is the main point. These products are easier to pack and then sell them in Russia. The export of Ukrainian sunflower seeds has almost taken a double growth.

Moscow may get Ukrainians arms

Minsk also acts as the mediator in manufacturing sphere between Russia and Ukraine. By some estimates, only the resale of Ukrainian equipment has earned profits to Belarusian companies at nearly $0.2 billion. Since 2012 the Russian Federation has gradually tightened the access in Russian market of Ukrainian car building works. Now the deliveries are actually banned because of complaints about the quality of domestic parts. But at the same time in 2014 the supply of spare parts for carriages from Ukraine to Belarus has increased in monetary terms by more than one third, and in some positions in more than five times. The shipment of the same products from Belarus to Russia has grown by 40%. It seems like the solution of Kruikov car building works to redeem shares of Homel car building works in 2012 was more than a forward-looking.

“Ukroboronprom” is also increasing deliveries in Belarus. They load measuring equipment, optics and spare parts for aircraft. And “Motor Sich” is actively developing its subsidiary in Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant, Belarus. It is possible that it is view the exports increase to Russia (as a new Petro Poroshenko’s decree bans selling of military equipment to Russia).

This kind of relations is appropriate for the sides. In October Aliaksandr Lukashenka even reprimanded gently Vyacheslav Boguslayev, the owner of “Motor Sich”, for his plant in Orsha ramping up production in slow rates. A few weeks later, Belarusian media reported that order value at Ukrainian subsidiary would be increased in several times in 2015. Allegedly, the point is that Russia will place an order for the production of small gas turbine engines for air-launched cruise missiles Kh-55. It is possible that for this program the appropriate production will be taken from Zaporizhia. Anyway, Aliaksandr Lukashenka has already announced the launch of the Belarusian missile program, the realization of which he intends to attract missile specialists from Ukraine.