Belarusian authorities want to achieve single-digit inflation by 2017
The Belarusian authorities have developed an anti-inflationary programme in order to achieve an unambiguous inflation in 2017. The programme envisages measures that will help to keep inflation at 17% in 2015 and at 12% in 2016. The programme includes the reduction of state funding programmes by BYR 2.2 trillion in 2016, interference with the pricing processes by public authorities, growth of tariffs on natural monopolies services due to BYR exchange rate fluctuations, which will lead to a gradual increase in tariffs for housing and communal services. The programme does not take into account the possible impact of external factors on prices in Belarus, which, amid high dependency on the Russian economy, may lead to the anti-inflationary programme’s fiasco.
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.