The enlarged basket comprises 18 currencies that are subject to a mandatory 30 percent selloff to the state (RFE/RL's report in Belarusian). The administrative move prevents non-state entities from accumulating piles of such funds while conveniently putting more of said currencies in the hands of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his newly minted National Bank chairwoman, Nadezhda Ermakova.
In addition to the Polish zloty, Czech koruna, Hungarian forint, Chinese yuan/renminbi, and Israeli shekel, among others, the list includes the Kazakh tenge.
Astana is no doubt celebrating its inclusion in such distinguished currency company as another feather in its economic cap. Even if it's an honor emanating from one of Europe's least sound economies.
-- Andy Heil