25 May 2022 14:35

Belarus to lose 30% of exports in 2022 due to sanctions - Belarusian deputy PM

MINSK. May 25 (Interfax) - Belarus will fall short of 30% of its export revenues, or $14 billion, due to the Western sanctions this year, Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Snopkov said.

"In general, the sanctions restrictions and the loss of the Ukrainian market are estimated at $14 billion worth of losses in export revenues before the end of the year, or some 30% decrease in exports," Snopkov was quoted as saying by the BelTA state-run news agency in the parliament.

The negative influence of the sanctions on the Belarusian economy is increasing, he said. "Starting from June, the premium European market will be closed to timber, ferrous metals and products made from them, cement, tires, and it's some $1.8 billion of export revenue," Snopkov said.

The imposed sanctions restrict the flow of goods, while direct trade restrictions on the supply of some types of products, logistical and financial restrictions narrow the export of even non-sanctioned goods. There is also a direct ban on imports from unfriendly countries, including technologies and equipment, which causes the risks of a slowdown in technological development in the medium-term perspective. Snopkov also said some large banks have been disconnected from SWIFT and there is a ban on transactions with the National Bank and restrictions on access to financial markets.

"It is no coincidence that industrial sectors and major GDP generating enterprises are hit the hardest. Through industry, the sanctions affect the relevant sectors, especially wholesale trade and cargo transportation. Construction has been affected by the sanctions indirectly, through a shortage of financial resources due to the closure of external financing and the narrowing of domestic sources. Besides wholesale trade and transport, the banking sector and all spheres connected with tourism were hit the hardest in the services sector," Snopkov said.