Belarus may refinance domestic debt to save gold reserves

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April 22, 2016 19:36

As of November 1st, 2015, Belarus’ gold reserves totalled USD 4.66 billion, which is USD 38.1 million more than on October 1st. The gold reserves have increased due to currency proceeds from the bond sales issued by the National Bank and the Finance Ministry – in October the National Bank raised USD 257 million and EUR 147.5 million. This instrument will be used in the future to refinance Belarus’ outstanding public debt. The demand for these bonds will remain high due to high yield (7-8% per annum). In addition, interest rates on foreign currency deposits for the population may rise too in order to attract currency savings of citizens to the banking system. This refinancing mechanism is effective when repaying short-term debt. In order to repay public debt in full, Belarus requires long-term loans worth at least USD 1 million at the minimal interest rate.

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Minsk attempts to make up for image losses from military exercises by opening to Western values
October 02, 2017 11:49
Image: Catholic.by

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.

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