Sirkhey Balykin: currency rate is underestimated

While the National Bank of Belarus fixed the exchange rate for a dollar at 5 thousand rubles, the real value of a dollar is between 6 and 7 thousand rubles. Which means that the recent devaluation will not solve the problem of the dollars deficit at the currency exchange points and at the stock market. The value of ruble should go down further 20 to 30%. This is only the tip of an iceberg, as the financial precipice might be bottomless and there is no hope for the growth of value of Belarusian ruble or even stabilizing ruble’s rate. Administrative limitations imposed by the National Bank constitute a serious obstacle in such process.

In such a dramatic situation, it was worth considering introducing Russian ruble in Belarus. It is a currency used by our main trading partner. Our companies are plugged into technological developments of Russian companies. Such solution would be inconvenient for Lukashenka – it would deprive him of the ability to conduct independent monetary policy and to fix the budget gaps. Such a move would have been also been opposed on the political grounds by the nationalistic Belarusian opposition.

But the small and medium business would have appreciated introduction of Russian ruble, as they have hard time coping with such economic instability. Another major problem is lack of trust towards the authorities policy. The more the government is trying to calm the atmosphere down, the more distrustful are Belarusians. The only way out seems to be leaving people alone and letting the rate stabilize according to the free market rules. Should the government go on with printing money, the value of Belarusian ruble will continue to fall. It can stabilize only if the government can offer alternative to purchasing foreign currencies forms of investing money. The amount of money will than decrease and dollars and euros will return to the currency markets.


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