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Belarus: Government Policy
Country Study > Chapter 6 > The Economy > Government Policy


Although the government's stated goals during the first years of independence included promoting a market economy, normalizing monetary circulation, and lowering the country's dependence on monopoly suppliers, these goals were not met. Inflation and depreciation in the exchange rate stemmed from the government's compensation for decreased living standards and lower industrial output through subsidies (rather than changes in the country's economic structure and adoption of market reforms).

The government's economic timidity was prompted not only by the wish to maintain the status quo but also by a fear of the social consequences. Years earlier, calls for political action did not stir the populace, but the populace reacted dramatically to sudden price increases. In April 1991, demonstrations occurred in Minsk, Orsha, and other cities, frightening the government into wage concessions, a slowdown of reforms, and promises not to neglect the "social protection net" so as to avoid a repeat of such economically motivated unrest.

As of mid-1995, the government continued to look for easy solutions to its economic problems. It neglected privatization and price liberalization, instead continuing to increase minimum wages to offset minor price increases and to prop up outdated factories that piled up unwanted inventories.

Data as of June 1995

Last Updated: June 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Belarus was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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