Both before and after independence, most of Belarus's
came from Russia (64 percent in 1990) and Ukraine (19
1990). However, the foreign trade situation worsened for
as the former Soviet Union continued to disintegrate
economically. Imports from such countries as Germany,
the United States increased, so that by 1994 only 76
Belarus's imports came from former Soviet republics.
now paying higher prices for goods it had previously
cheaply from them. The greatest drain on its finances now
consisted of imports of raw materials and oil, whose
increased greatly in the early to mid-1990s.
In 1994 Belarus's imports from non-CIS countries
nearly 13 percent from 1993 to US$534 million.
Its imports from CIS countries were estimated at US$3.1
a decrease of over 57 percent by volume from the previous
In the mid-1990s, Belarus imported oil, natural gas,
rolled ferrous metal, nonferrous metals, commercial lumber
sawed timber, chemical products, raw materials for the
industry, cement, cotton yarn, silk, machines and
automobiles and buses, sewing machines and washing
paper, grain, forage, cooking oil, sugar, tea, fish and
products, vegetables, and consumer goods. A few items were
subject to restrictions for health and security reasons,
including chemicals and industrial waste. An improved
tariff structure was introduced in October 1993, partly in
World Bank (see Glossary) recommendations.
Data as of June 1995