Antifake / Factcheck

16 May

“Soviet Legacy Negative Backlash Hinders Economy Growth.” MP Oleg Gaidukevich's statement fact-checked

Moreover, in Moldova, the minimum wage is higher than in Belarus.

According to Oleg Gaidukevich, a Belarusian deputy, the economic achievements of post-soviet nations are directly related to their attitude towards the past. He mentioned Moldova, a "poor" country, as an example supporting his theory. The Weekly Top Fake team fact-checked this claim.

On May 6, 2024, in an interview with Alfa Radio, Oleg Gaidukevich shared his thoughts on the correlation between a country's success and its relationship with its Soviet history.

“Show me at least one country in the post-Soviet space that has fought against the Soviet past and has achieved at least some positive results in its development. I won't even take Ukraine. Well, Ukraine is understandable. Moldova. There they are fighting — they have banned St. George's ribbons. They call for celebrating May 8, and not May 9. What has Moldova achieved? It's poor! A country that doesn't decide anything. From which only timber is exported. People there want to escape, there is neither work, nor prospects and  no country. Where are the achievements?” the deputy wonders.

Indeed, Moldova is not a wealthy state. But, for example, Moldovan salaries have already surpassed Belarusian ones. In 2023, Moldovans earned an average of $680, while Belarusians earned less than $600.

Moreover, in Moldova, the minimum wage is higher than in Belarus. Since  January 2024, it has been 5,000 lei (about $283), while in Belarus it is 626 rubles (about $194). However, this indicator is not significant.

The Human Development Index, calculated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is usually used to assess the standard of living. Currently, Belarus ranks 69th, and Moldova — 86th. But over the past ten years, Moldova has risen by almost 30 positions, while Belarus has fallen by 16.

In addition, Gaidukevich criticized the economic achievements of the Baltic states:

“Let's look at the Baltics further. They are fiercely fighting the Soviet past, the Russian language... Recently, one of the Lithuanian officials stated that their trouble is that they still have a lot of the imperial legacy of the Soviet era... There are still many enterprises, she says, and many houses remain from the Soviet times. There is still a lot left from the Soviet era. Fool! This is the last thing Lithuania has! To destroy this — and there will be nothing at all. You have already destroyed almost everything. This person openly says: “There is too much Soviet left”… But tell me, what new achievements have they made in 30 years? Where are the new achievements of Lithuania, other than an anti-tank ditch? There is nothing, that's the problem.

<...> Look at Belarus — we have preserved history and have achievements a hundred times more.”

The average salary in Lithuania has exceeded €2,100, the minimum wage is €924, and the country ranks 37th on the Human Development Index. Indeed, many enterprises built during the Soviet era were closed, but dozens of international companies took their place. They pay high salaries to Lithuanian residents, and the country's budget receives large tax payments.

In contrast, many companies are leaving Belarus. Recently, companies Wargaming, Flo, Gurtam, PandaDoc, and others have closed their offices in our country. Some of them relocated to Lithuania. Both ЕРАМ and Wargaming paid more than €35 million in taxes to Lithuania's 2023 budget.

Lithuania's GDP in 2023 exceeded Belarus’ GDP, although the population of this country is three times smaller.

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