With political issues and economic sanctions being an everyday norm, Belarus finds itself in a bit of a pickle, according to Borovtsov & Salei Partner Vassili Salei.
According to Konstantin Mikhel, Managing Partner at Vlasova Mikhel & Partners, sanctions-burdened Belarus is slowly preparing for the change of its constitution. In addition, Mikhel reports that two sets of "pertinent amendments" have been passed recently – one to Company Law and the other to Advocacy Law.
Last week, Illia Salei of Borovtsov & Salei announced that he "was forced to leave Belarus where [he stands] to be prosecuted under Article 361 of Belarusian Criminal Code for the alleged appeals to actions aimed at harming the national security." He added: "I consider the case to be politically motivated." CEE Legal Matters spoke to Salei to learn more about the matter.
According to Sergey Mashonsky, Senior Partner at Arzinger Law Offices in Belarus, his country is struggling to find economic balance amid the pandemic and the international sanctions. He reports that certain sectors, such as forestry, are doing well, while some others, such as the food packaging industry, have been negatively impacted in recent times.
Belarus has never been in the news as often as in 2020, which might serve as evidence that the country is currently facing challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst and revealed problems in the still widely unreformed Belarusian economy, while the political crisis hit the country hard. With the economy slowing down, demand for commercial real estate has dropped, and investors have put most of their plans on hold and have been monitoring the situation carefully, awaiting further developments.
Sorainen has advised Data Delivery LLC, the Belarusian developer of a platform for managing the online status and business reputation of RocketData.io, in connection with share acquisitions and further investment in the company by mapping service 2GIS, which is part of the Sber group. DLA Piper Moscow and Aleinikov & Partners in Minsk advised 2GIS on the deal.
The current political situation in Belarus remains strained, according to Maksim Salahub, Partner at Sorainen in Minsk. Salahub reports that President Lukashenko held an “All-Belarusian Assembly” between February 11 and 12 – an event Salahub describes as “politically sterile.” According to him, “even though the event was supposed to seem all-Belarusian, the participants were carefully selected by the authorities so that the event would instead be attended by Lukashenko loyalists.” Nonetheless, Salahub says, many followed the event closely, hoping that some constructive ideas would be voiced and de-escalation measures proposed. Unfortunately, in Salahub’s opinion, the event only indicated that repression against the pro-reform groups will continue and that the same economic course will be followed as before.