Reforms in Belarus after the cancelled IMF program: Totem and taboo

Almost two years ago, in December 2015, Belarusian authorities announced that they plan to complete negotiations with the IMF on the new lending program in the beginning of 2016. A year ago, the Belarusian delegation was expected to bring to Washington signed letter of intent that would had made the issue of the new program solved. In July of 2017, IMF’s representative announced that “discussions toward a program are on hold pending clarity on whether there is high level support in Belarus for policies, particularly in the state-owned enterprises and utility sectors.” Why Belarusian authorities appeared to be so reluctant to even modest structural change expected by the Fund? Have they abandoned idea of reforms, or have they chosen to follow the reform path, but one of their own?