According to information leaked on Monday by a person from Belarusian banking circles, the National Bank of Belarus will introduce official devaluation of Belarusian ruble on Tuesday. The value of the Belarusian currency is to be reduced by 60% in comparison with its value at the beginning of the year. The new rate is expected to be 4,930 rubles per U.S. dollar, while today the price of dollar fixed by the Belarusian central bank is 3155 rubles.
Spokesperson for the National Bank of Belarus, Anatol Drazdou, when asked on Monday afternoon about the accuracy of the leaked information did not confirm nor deny. “A press release will be issued in the evening, explaining everything ” – he added. Last week, Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Miasnikowicz declared that “on Monday or Tuesday the government and the National Bank will take steps to stabilize the foreign exchange market.”
The National Bank website on Monday afternoon had no information about the exchange rate for tomorrow – despite the fact that they are posted there daily at noon. Couple hours later, the bank’s website completely ceased to open.
Meanwhile, at the Belarusian interbank market on Monday, the dollar sold for 8,400 rubles, which means that the new official rate, still does not reflect the real relationship between supply and demand at the Belarusian financial market. This in turn may cause further decline in the value of the Belarusian currency.
President Lukashenka in the past few months, repeatedly assured Belarussians that there is no threat of devaluation. Two days before the December presidential elections, Lukashenka posed for photos in the vault of the National Bank of Belarus, sitting on piles of gold, and declared that “we have sufficiently large reserves of gold and currency to satisfy demand for each currency. You have to live calmly and look to the future. Prospects are not so bad.”
Michał Janczuk (TV Biełsat)