Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s economic representative Ales Alekhnovich and Head of the People’s Anti-Crisis Administration Pavel Latushko, at a joint press conference, presented seven ways of economic pressure on the Belarusian authorities.
The first way is internal sanctions – the Belarusians should refrain from purchasing goods and services of companies which carry out repressions and support the regime. Another important step is limiting payments to the state budget, including taxes and purchases of the main excisable goods: alcohol and cigarettes. In addition, one can legally delay the deadlines for making payments to the budget.
The second one is investigation and limitation of corruption schemes for the supply of goods from Belarus by private companies close to the regime. That is, the EU and US sanctions against the “wallets” of the regime.
The third option is the freezing of international cooperation with the public sector. The EBRD, IMF, EIB, World Bank should suspend relations with the regime in favour of cooperation with the civil society of Belarus.
The fourth way is stopping international cooperation and financing for Belarusian state banks. Limitation of lines of credit from international banks for subsidiary banks within the country.
The fifth is the closure of international financial markets for the issue of new government bonds. Informing the international community about violations of basic economic rights of Belarusians, for instance, blocking of accounts that received assistance from solidarity funds. Launch of discussions on the revision of the payment of government bonds issued by the regime after August 9, 2020.
The sixth option is limiting the export of key state-owned enterprises, such as Yara in Norway, which is one of the top 10 buyers of Belaruskali products.
The seventh way is the stopping of foreign investment from both enterprises and other states.
“If these mechanisms do not work, and the repressions continue, disconnection of the state banks of Belarus from the SWIFT system may be applied. This is the most radical type of sanctions, therefore the office of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya considered it necessary to conduct a public opinion poll on this issue,” said Ales Alekhnovich.
On the Golos platform, 406,000 people voted on the issue, of which 64,1% were in favour of disabling SWIFT, 19,3% could not decide, 16,6% of voters were against.
“That is, the ratio of those who are ‘for’ and ‘against’ is 4 to 1. It is noteworthy that if several hundred thousand Belarusians are ready for the toughest measure of pressure, then even more Belarusians support targeted sanctions,” explained Alekhnovich.