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Lukashenko on Russia's tax maneuver: No catastrophe even in the worst scenario

MINSK (BelTA) - The Belarusian economy will not collapse because of the tax maneuver in Russia's oil industry even in a worst-case scenario, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he heard out a report on the final version of the draft Tax Code and the 2019 budget law of the Republic of Belarus, BelTA informs.

According to the head of state, there has been a barrage of opinions after the parties failed to come to an agreement over the tax maneuver in Russia at the government level. Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that the economic conditions for Belarus and also for the Eurasian Economic Union and the Union State would worsen in the wake of these possible changes.

“I am alarmed by the concerns of Belarusians. I would like to say openly that there are absolutely no reasons for concern. This is our problem, the problem of the government of the country, and we must handle it. Nothing will collapse even in a worst-case scenario. As for 2019, there is nothing to talk about. People should live and work as usual,” the Belarusian leader said. “If we do not come to an agreement, this tax maneuver will affect us gradually from 2019 to 2024. In 2019, if anything, we may lose about $400-500 million. This is actually a fair amount of money, but there will be no catastrophe for the country.”

“There will be no catastrophe in any case. We will just have to revise our domestic and foreign policy to a certain extent, especially in the financial sector,” Alexander Lukashenko stressed.

The head of state noted once again that people should not be concerned about anything. “Belarus will be developing in the direction which we will determine here, in our sovereign and independent Belarus, no matter what. Therefore, we must carefully distribute huge money in our budget, i.e. billions of dollars and rubles, and spend it properly. We must provide support to those who need it,” the Belarusian leader said.

Alexander Lukashenko encouraged Belarusian people to work as usual, take care of their families and children especially in the run-up to New Year holidays.