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Racketeering by Lukashenko

Pavel Latushka: Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, Ambassador

The dictator has decided to deliver the final blow to what is known as the "investment climate of Belarus."

If a company with foreign capital from the so-called "unfriendly states" wants to exit the Belarusian market by selling its assets, it will now be required to pay a fee of at least 25% of the market value of those assets and obtain permission from the Lukashenko government.

Lukashenko is furious that investors are taking their profits abroad. However, he conveniently ignores the fact that firms controlled by him transfer their profits to the United Arab Emirates.

But these requisitions are not the only new measures. The rules for the transit of trucks through our country have been further amended this year, establishing fees for trucks from the EU during restraints and overloading in Belarus. And there are many more such requisitions.

Despite the infusion of Russian money into the Belarusian economy, particularly in enterprises serving the Russian military-industrial complex and army, foreign investments in our country have steadily decreased since 2020.

In 2023 alone, over 80 foreign companies from more than 20 countries closed their representative offices in Belarus. Interestingly, Russian companies had the highest number of closures, followed by Lithuania, Germany, Latvia, Estonia, Switzerland, Great Britain, and the Czech Republic.

All of this is happening while individual investors are attempting to recover their investments through the courts. For example, an investor from a country friendly to the Russian regime is unsuccessfully trying to sue for payment in the currency of Belarusian Eurobonds, and a British investor is seeking the return of funds invested in a solar power station seized by the illegitimate authorities. These cases demonstrate the regime's true attitude towards foreign investors.

Lukashenko claims he can make a burger himself and prepare fries using Belarusian potatoes without the involvement of an American investor. Let's see. Even if he manages to do it, it won't be McDonald's anymore. The question is, who will consume it?

Recently, the President of Kazakhstan announced significant market reforms aimed at creating a more transparent, stable, and dynamic economy. The new president of Argentina has also begun ambitious reforms in their country. Even war-torn Ukraine, under challenging conditions, is striving to continue economic transformations that align its economy with European standards.

Meanwhile, Lukashenko is leading the country towards totalitarianism and backwardness, creating conditions that drive investors away at a rapid pace.


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