Belarus to address bad debts with extension of settlement terms
According to the National Statistics Committee, in May 2016 there was a simultaneous reductionin overdue receivables and payables in the country. This decrease was due to the transfer of BMZ arrears for fuel and energy resources in the current debt and fixation of the debt at a rate of January 1st, 2016. Debt payments will be carried out uniformly throughout 2017 without recalculation of the debt if the national currency exchange rate changes. In the power industry, this solution is likely to lead to a decrease in profits and downsize financial results. Industries, which would be allowed to benefit from fixed overdue debt for energy, are likely to report an increase in profits, financial health of enterprises with bad debts is likely to improve and the government would be able to report an improvement with settlements. If such a practice is used in other economic sectors, the real financial picture will be significantly distorted.
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.