Prices of gas at Belarusian gas stations have gone up for the sixth time this year. Belnaftakhim, an oil company, introduced a 3% price increase. Angry drivers are planning to hold a protest today under a slogan „Stop benzin“. They will block traffic at the main Minsk avenues – Independence and Victory streets.
According to an economist Tatiana Manionak, Bielnaftkhim company does not have another option but to increase gas prices. „Companies are forced to match their gas prices with the Russian level to prevent smuggling of fuel to neighboring countries“ – she told Belsat. In Ms. Manionak opinion, Belarusians are still ahead of major gas price increase. „The authorities had spoken about one-time devalution of ruble by 56%. But we already have a 70% devaluation“ – she added.
The protest against fuel price increase planned for today, is going to be a third such demonstration in Belarus. The first one, held after a 30% price hike, was held on June 8th and gathered the most participants. More than a thousand angry drivers managed to paralize entire Minsk city center. Protesters halted traffic by driving very slowly or stopping the cars to „fix“ them on the spot. Police arrested few people, including pedestrians who expressed their support for the drivers. As a result, Alexander Lukashenka ordered a fuel price reduction the following day. However, the gas price never went down to the original level.