CASE Policy Briefs, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, gas prices, market economy, Post-communist transition and development issues, Russia

Russia and Belarus: A Lesson in Market Economy

The fact that gas prices have been rising to nearly market levels since the beginning of the New Year, as well as Russia’s decision to place an export tax on Russian crude oil sold to Belarus can be seen a major economic challenge for Belarus. The rise in prices is economically justified. Its also a product of Russia’s irritation, based on the realization that integrating Belarus with Russia is becoming more and more unlikely. Thus, it does not make sense for Russia, either economically or politically, to offer Belarus any more financial breaks.