Author Topic: Will Belarus issue coins?  (Read 4390 times)

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Online Figleaf

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Will Belarus issue coins?
« on: November 30, 2009, 09:09:01 AM »
Iran, Belarus sign banking cooperation deals
Sat, 28 Nov 2009 10:10:55 GMT

The central banks of Iran and Belarus have signed three cooperation deals in an effort to increase economic interaction.

The governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Mahmoud Bahmani, says the agreements would pave the way for Tehran and Minsk to do trade with their own currencies, hold training workshops and connect together their automated teller machines (ATMs).

Bahmani says the Islamic Republic also agreed to open a 50-million-euro credit line for Iranians to invest in Belarus and mint coins for the eastern European country.

Source: Press TV, with thanks to Pabitra Saha
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Offline chrisild

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Re: Will Belarus issue coins?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 11:16:14 AM »
Dunno; Belarus has issued lots of coins so far but only for collectors. Most of these were minted in Poland as far as I know. Now whether this new agreement actually means that Belarus will get circulation coins ... don't hold your breath.

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Online FosseWay

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Re: Will Belarus issue coins?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2010, 03:20:44 PM »
Sorry for dragging up an old thread.

A lot of things about Belarus are the way they are because of the official existential angst about the country. Over the last decade a lot has been said, but little done, about an economic and even political union between Belarus and the Russian Federation. For as long as this has remained a viable proposition, it's obviously been unnecessary to reform the Belarusian currency, since they'd have to do it again if they joined the (Russian) rouble. So, not only no new coins, but no revaluation to knock three orders of magnitude off denominations.

Since the oil and gas arguments of a couple of years back, there's been a distancing of relations between Belarus and Russia, with Lukashenko apparently trying to cosy up to the EU instead. If they really are going to change the make-up of the currency, that would be seen as a very overt political statement to Russia that a union of any kind is a long way off -- much as the UK's redesign of its coinage was in relation to joining the euro.

Offline <k>

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Re: Will Belarus issue coins?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2010, 04:46:12 PM »
Sorry for dragging up an old thread.

We always enjoy additional information or discussion, Alex. That's why we leave the topics open, so no need to apologise.  ;)

much as the UK's redesign of its coinage was in relation to joining the euro.

In what way?

I remember the excitement of the early 1990s, when old and new, former communist, states were releasing new circulation coin sets and designs. I was so eager to collect something from Belarus that I bought a set of their first wildlife-themed banknotes - and I don't usually collect banknotes. The first government was independently minded and would probably have released coins pretty quickly. However, it was replaced by old apparatchik Lukashenko, who looked back towards Russia and the old Soviet Union. He even changed the new flag of Belarus to look more like the Soviet era flag.

I get the impression that most Belarussians just don't want to be a independent nation and were quite happy to be attached to Russia. It's rare for a state to want to be dependent rather than independent, but I have also read recently that many Lesothans would like landlocked Lesotho to be absorbed into South Africa, so as to enjoy the economic benefits of South African citizenship.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 07:29:39 PM by E.M.U. »
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Online Figleaf

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Re: Will Belarus issue coins?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2010, 07:21:08 PM »
I don't think the wishes of the population count for much with Mr. Lukashenko. I even wonder how long he would last under Russian control, so it may indeed be in his interest to play off all comers against each other. Any Iranian deal would remind both Russia and the EU that Lukashenko has other options.

Peter
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Offline Ukrainii Pyat

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Re: Will Belarus issue coins?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 08:17:24 PM »
It doesn't have to be so much of a desire to be dependent on another country, but cultural, linguistic ties can be a big factor.  In the east of Ukraine a majority of the population would rather be a part of Russia - even ethnic Russian speaking Ukrainians, because they have more ties to Russia than Ukraine.  In fact Ukraine is a very very divided country.  Language is a big factor, in the west of Ukraine people speak mostly Ukrainian and treat Russian as an imposed language - whereas in the east Russian is spoken as a first language, but now the government of Ukraine imposes Ukrainian language on all signs, documents etc.  It is really a pain, if like me you know Russian, but not proficient in Ukrainian beyond understanding some.
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translateltd

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Re: Will Belarus issue coins?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2010, 08:18:52 PM »

In what way?


If you're about to ditch your currency, why go to the trouble and expense of overhauling and (theoretically) modernising your designs?


Offline <k>

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Re: Will Belarus issue coins?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2010, 09:14:42 PM »
Cultural, linguistic ties can be a big factor.  In the east of Ukraine a majority of the population would rather be a part of Russia - even ethnic Russian speaking Ukrainians, because they have more ties to Russia than Ukraine.  In fact Ukraine is a very very divided country.  Language is a big factor, in the west of Ukraine people speak mostly Ukrainian and treat Russian as an imposed language - whereas in the east Russian is spoken as a first language.

As I understand it, that situation goes back to at least the second world war. When the Nazis and Soviets partitioned Poland in 1939, Stalin took the eastern, largely Ukrainian-speaking half of Poland, and annexed it to Soviet Ukraine. It was then the western half of the enlarged Ukraine. I have an English friend who is half-Ukrainian. His father was an ethnic Ukrainian, born in eastern Poland. In 1939, he suddenly found himself a Soviet citizen; his brother fought for Stalin, while he joined the SS Galician Division (of ethnic Ukrainians) and fought for Hitler. After the war, he emigrated to England, where he died in the early 1980s.
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Online FosseWay

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Re: Will Belarus issue coins?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2010, 11:27:35 PM »
On the UK redesign and the euro: I said that the decision to change the coins was seen to be an indicator that we wouldn't join for ages, especially by opponents of the euro. I don't suppose the Mint intended that, but such a reaction was entirely predictable. I suspect a radical overhaul of the Belarusian currency would trigger similar unintended reactions, including interpreting it as a tacit admission on Lukashenko's part that his dream of uniting with Russia is off or on hold. For that reason, I doubt it will happen; and I'd imagine Lukashenko has a much firmer hold over what his mint or central bank do than David Cameron has over what the Royal Mint does, so he'd be able to veto anything he didn't like.

On the broader question of Belarusian/Russian relations, I can't help thinking that Lukashenko wanted the union as a way of muscling his way to the presidency of the combined country. He is Russian by upbringing, not Belarusian (native Belarusian speakers mock his mangling of their language, apparently) and during the Yeltsin and early Putin eras I think he thought a Soviet-style strongman would play well amongst the Russian people who were getting nostalgic for the old certainties at a time when there were more shortages than there are now. Now that Putin has shown himself to be quite the strongman on his own, I doubt Lukashenko has a chance. Putin for his part can take or leave Belarus; he's more interested in securing Russian influence in places that have something he wants (like Kazakhstan), or that might kick off (like Georgia).

Offline ciscoins

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Re: Will Belarus issue coins?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2010, 11:58:29 PM »
I can't help thinking that Lukashenko wanted the union as a way of muscling his way to the presidency of the combined country.

You are right. Boris Yeltsin's daughter Tatyana has published a story about that at her blog. She says that the first variant of the agreement about the Union of Russia and Belarus was written by Lukashenko, and after signing that document he would automatically become the leader of both countries. And Yeltsin didn't understand that he will lose power. Tatyana stopped her father from signing the agreement and prepared another, more declarative variant.
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Offline Gerhard Schön

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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2010, 01:39:15 AM »
I have asked central bank officials some months ago, and they confirmed they did order the 2009 coinage series in Kremnica as a test run, but they were not aware of any cooperation with the Iran.
Source: Schön's World Coin Catalogue 46th edition 2018.