...but political liberalization is still off the table. Radio Free Europe reports:
Lukashenka said, "We have done a lot in this direction [of liberalizing the economy]. We have lessened the tax pressure."
But he warned that people must be aware "liberalization is not a one-time act," and said "some charlatans and boneheads" understand it as allowing them to do anything they want.
Lukashenka said that is "a road to chaos."
As for political liberalization, he said "we have had enough of it."
The World Bank's business regulation survey "Doing Business" named Belarus among the top 10 reformers worldwide. This really long Euromoney article says that the regime is liberalizing the banking sector at a pretty fast clip. Investors include foreigners (excluding foreign managers has been a big mistake of the Russian privatization schemes), but unfortunately this includes Russian investors along with West European banks like Austria's Raiffiisen. The fear with Russian banks is that rather than profit-seeking rational actors, they will act as a Russian foreign policy apparatus, much like what happens every winter for Belarus and/or Ukraine when Gazprom finds a pretext to shut off gas for a couple of days.