The Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko has issued a decree prohibiting price increases in his country. "Any price increase is prohibited from October 6. Banned," said Lukashenko on Thursday, according to the state news agency Belta. The order applies with immediate effect so that no one can take advantage of the remaining period to increase prices after all, said the 68-year-old, who is considered "Europe's last dictator".
According to the National Statistics Office, inflation in Belarus was 17.9 percent in August compared to the same month last year. Food prices in particular rose sharply. According to forecasts by Belarusian economic experts, the inflation rate could rise to as much as 19 percent by the end of the year.