Alcohol producers may pay excise duties upon receipt of revenue until 2018
According to the presidential decree No 311 of August 17th, 2016, alcohol producers may continue to pay excise duty to the state budget upon receipt of revenues until 2018. This measure was adopted in order to stabilize the financial situation in the alcohol production. Alcohol manufacturers are one of the major contributors to the budget. As a result, some enterprises in the industry may report profits and the price for alcohol may remain unchanged or even slightly reduce. Retail sales of alcohol may somewhat increase and the market share of counterfeit alcohol products may reduce. In order to protect the domestic alcohol market, the Belarusian authorities may introduce administrative restrictions on foreign-made low-price alcohol products.
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.