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2014 salary growth offset by inflation

April 22, 2016 19:05

In December 2014, the average monthly salary in Belarus was BYR 6,806,000 (approx. $547)   which is 16.2% higher than in December 2013. The yearly total rate of inflation of 16.2% means that real salaries in Belarus did not grow in 2014. Most likely, a further fall in household income can be expected due to the devaluation of rouble and a larger proportion of paid services in the consumer goods basket. Higher import prices will mean that consumers start demanding more domestically produced goods and the level of savings will fall. Unlike during previous post-devaluation periods, there will not even be a nominal growth in personal income. Economic crises in the neighbouring states mean that labour migration will be limited.

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The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.

Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.

Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.

In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.