Experts: EU, US sanctions on Russia to touch Belarus (video, ENG)

The new sanctions on Moscow are beginning to work. The blacklist, recently extended by the EU, has come into effect. It includes 23 companies in the banking, production and service sectors and 95 Russian officials and Ukrainian separatists involved in fueling the conflict in east Ukraine. Furthermore, the US, Canada and Japan imposed restrictions on Russian officials and entities. The sanctions may target Russia, but Belarusians may also experience their consequences.

English subs:

{movie}Experts: EU, US sanctions on Russia to touch Belarus (ENG subs)|right|17741{/movie}


“Our trade turnover with Russia is rather high, I guess. Right? Perhaps, it will change in some way. It might well fall, which, I believe, is unfavourable for us.”

‘Ordinary people, like us, will suffer, but talking about our economy in whole the sanctions won’t have far-reaching effects.’

“If Russia faces problems with its economy due to sanctions, we’ll be touched too.”

Some experts share ordinary Belarusians’ concerns. They point out that Russia is the main sponsor of Belarusian economy and Belarus’s main sales market.


“If the burden of the Russian budget increases, which means $100 bn losses annually, its part will be shifted onto Belarus: it won’t receive loans and sales of Belarusian goods will plunge.”

Indeed, Belarus has the highest turnover with its eastern neighbour. Besides trade, Belarus is establishing a large-scale integration project with Russia. Thus, sanctions on Moscow may become those on Minsk.


“50% of our exports goes not only to Russia, but also to the West, and here’s the problem. The sanctions hardly affect us now. Russian market remains open for us. But in the future we might be barred from the EU market, which is far worse.”

The sanctions imposed on the Kremlin have already hit several Belarusian tour operators and their customers. In particular, international money transfers via banks with Russian capital are being blocked, and this may be just the beginning.


“Belarus’s economy will suffer the sanctions’ consequences more and more. This year they may come unnoticed, but economic repercussion will be clearly seen in a year or two.”

At that, Russia’s economy outlook is considered negative. People should get ready for the Russian ruble’s fall, a decline in economic growth and a drop in living standards, economists warn. As Belarus has close ties with its main Custom Union partner, we may also be affected.

Siarhei Skulavets, In Focus

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