Belarus Presidential Executive Order sanctions sale of assets by residents of unfriendly states
8 November 2023
On 19 October, Belarus Presidential Executive Order No. 93 dated 14 March 2022 “On additional measures to ensure stable functioning of the national economy” was amended to lay down framework conditions for the sale of assets in Belarus by residents of "unfriendly states". These amendments authorize the sale of assets by residents of “unfriendly states” provided that the following two conditions are met: the Government permission is obtained and a fee to the national budget in the amount of at least 25% the assets’ market value is paid.
So far, there has been no publicly known cases of successful Belarus asset’s sale by foreign companies from unfriendly states. Under the new regulation, foreign companies willing to sell their Belarus assets could face several regulatory risks, incl. those that stem from the vague decision-making procedure for reviewing applications and granting permissions and lack of clarity on the list of stakeholders involved in this process. Further risks are associated with the fact that control and supervisory authorities will also have significant impact on transactions as they are authorized to sue to declare an asset sale void at any stage.
Let us also note that the Government decision to authorize assets’ sale under certain conditions was influenced by relevant Russia’s practice. As a consequence, a thorough preparation of a deal in Belarus may benefit from studying relevant experience from Russia exit deals as well as the Belarusian environment itself.