Belarus will have a single distribution network for the sale of tobacco products in the domestic and foreign markets. It will be created by the “Energo-Oil” company, which will also invest heavily in the Hrodna Tobacco Factory to literally flood Europe with cigarettes. The decision was made after a special meeting convened by Lukashenka.
Heart attack, lung and tongue tumors, loss of vision and gangrene — information with pictures about the dangers of tobacco can be seen on every pack. However, in Belarus, these sources of disease are sold cheaper than in most neighboring states. Two tobacco factories are working at their limit. They will work even better to bring in more taxes and foreign currency.
At the meeting, Alyaksandr Lukashenka demanded that the ministers and private businesses come up with more profitable schemes of production and sale of tobacco, because it is what he was allegedly asked to do by the European entrepreneurs. Immediately after the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Milhail Rusy said that the “Energo-Oil” company will create a unified network of cigarette sales in Belarus and abroad. Also, the “Energy-Oil”, which is headed by Alyaksei Aleksin, will invests $ 60 million in the Hrodna Tobacco Factory, including setting up of another 2 production lines, in addition to the ones launched by the state.
Previously, economists estimate that Belarus produces 15% more cigarettes than is officially sold on the domestic and foreign markets. In recent years, the National Statistical Committee has ceased to publish such information on the tobacco industry.
Indeed, Belarusian tobacco can be purchased in Paris and London. Vilnius and Warsaw asked Minsk to monitor cigarette sales, so as not to contribute to the smuggling, but in vain. On the contrary, the Belarusian authorities do not conceal the plans to increase tobacco production.
Yaraslau Ramanchuk believes that the tobacco market in Belarus, which is closed from casual investors, cannot exist without the implicit control of current and former security officials. There is too much money, both official and illegal.
“Budget receives a lot of money from it, although personally I do not tolerate smokers and drunkards,” Lukashenka said.
“Why all these cries of a healthy lifestyle, sports state, why all these ice rinks, when the goal is to get the Belarusian nation to drink and smoke? Why do this, while at the same time increasing production volumes, when people are given cheap drinks or cheap tobacco, so that they could drink and smoke as much as they wannt until they die,” said Pavel Sevyarynets.
Yaraslau Stseshyk, belsat.eu