Belarusian exporters lose revenues from supply of fruit and vegetables to Russia
According to the National Statistics Committee, after Russia put forward claims regarding the origin of fruits and vegetables supplied from Belarus, the volume of exports of these products in August decreased to its lowest in 2015. The claims have been reasonable and justified – some supplies of fruit and vegetables were from countries that are not exporters of these products. In the future, foreign trade turnover will reduce by USD 60 million per month due to suspended supplies of fruit and vegetables. In addition, the volume of cargo transportation by road will reduce so as load of logistics centres. Regional governments may lose in tax revenues and prices on imported fruits and vegetables may rise. Belarusian companies will not give up on re-export schemes, however, will be more cautious when selecting suppliers and providing documentary support.
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.