Belarus will not avoid recession even without quarantine, Sberbank claims

The Center for Macroeconomic Research of Russian Sberbank has published a review, which notes that Belarus is not introducing quarantine due to unfavorable economic situation.

The review says that the oil conflict with Russia has caused significant damage to the economy of Belarus: GDP, wholesale trade and cargo turnover have decreased.

“It is the unfavorable economic situation that most likely pushes the country’s leadership to give up tough measures against the spread of coronavirus infection. Belarus remained one of the few countries that did not resort to quarantine, isolation of the population and shutdown of enterprises. It is likely that such a strategy will somewhat reduce the depth of the recession this year, but certainly will not avoid it,” the document stresses.

Sberbank also believes that the plans of the Belarusian authorities “may be hindered by the rapid growth in the number Covid-19 victims”.

“In this case, the country will still have to follow the path of introducing severe restrictions, as it happened, for example, with the UK,” the review notes.

On April 7, at the meeeting dedicated to the fight against coronavirus, Lukashenka said the following: “We hear voices talk about quarantine, curfew, etc… Look, it’s the easiest thing, we’d do it within 24 hours. But what will we eat?”