Given the smaller size of the banking system of Belarus, we can't talk about a significant increase in the volume of the capital flight from Russia to Belarus

31 march 2015 | Nezavisimaya Gazeta

According to "Nezavisimaya Gazeta", Belarusian officials increasingly note attempts to withdraw the capital illegally from Russia to third countries through Belarus. Several years ago, the volume of such suspicious transactions valued at $15 billion. Now, given the increase in the outflow of capital as a whole, this figure could increase significantly. However, the Central Bank talkes about the success of the fight against illegal schemes.

Daniil Nametkin
Daniil Nametkin
Department for Expert Analytics

"As of March 1, 2015, the size of the Russian banking system amounted to more than $1.2 trillion, while in the Republic of Belarus it is not more than $36 billion. Thus, given the smaller size of the banking system of Belarus, we can't talk about a significant increase in the volume of the capital flight from Russia to this country", commented on the situation to "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" Daniil Nametkin, the expert of the Analytical Center.

In addition, the expert said, quoting the figures from the Bank of Russia, the share of the Republic of Belarus in the cross-border transfer between Russia and the CIS is a little over 2%. In particular, the aggregate turnover of cross-border transfers between Belarus and Russia in the IV quarter of 2014 was of $94 million, down with respect to the III quarter by 4%. It is important to note that the decline in transfers, primarily due to the reduction in capital outflow from Russia ($59 million in the IV quarter of 2014 versus $66 million in the III quarter of 2014). We can expect in the nearest future the decline in disinvestment, given the first signs of the economic stabilization in Russia in March of this year.

The press center of the Central Bank reported, that measures, taken by the regulator, helped to reduce suspicious transactions on disinvestment from $26.5 billion in 2013 to $9 billion in 2014. The volume of transactions, associated with the use of fictitious foreign trade contracts, when the contract is concluded with a non-resident of the Customs Union, and then goods should allegedly arrive in Russia from the countries of the Customs Union, have been kept to a minimum in 2014 and amounted to approximately $100 million.