boasts of the recent alignment of the official and commercial exchange rates and says he hopes to obtain $350 million or more from the International Monetary Fund to support the Belarusan ruble, now trading at around 1,020 to the dollar. That seems fanciful at best. Belarus in almost every area has moved away from the IMF priorities, which include reforms of public finance and taxation, monetary policy and the banking system, industrial restructuring and privatization, improved corporate governance and honest accounting, an end to barter, agricultural reform, and a better social safety net. Not to mention that the Western governments that control the IMF board consider Lukashenka’s presidency, and the country’s parliament and constitution, illegitimate.

Nor is support from Russia a likely prospect. August meetings in Moscow, at which Russia’s Prime Minister