Agricultural lobby triggered reorganization for debt relief
President Lukashenka has approved measures on financial recovery of agricultural enterprises, which envisage pre-trial rehabilitation for some enterprises and bankruptcy for others. Despite the fact that the state annually invests large amounts from the state budget to agriculture, agricultural enterprises are among the main troubled borrowers. One quarter of all agricultural enterprises is unprofitable. However, the authorities are not envisaging changing their approaches. They will not abandon their plans to create large holdings, which will attach insolvent agricultural enterprises to profitable ones. In the mid-2000s, the state attempted to attach unprofitable agricultural enterprises to successful private companies in order to support agricultural production and employment in rural areas, but to no avail. In addition, this problem issue was raised during the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly. Most likely, reorganization of agricultural enterprises is caused by the need to write-off bad debts. In addition, the administration may regard such reorganisation as a way to improve performance indicators in order to meet the requirements of international lenders.
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.