Belarusian rouble may lose some stability in June 2015
As of June 1st, 2015, the National Bank will switch from fixing mode to continuous double auction mode when trading foreign currency on the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange. As a result, banks will set their own currency exchange rates when selling foreign currency to their corporate clients. Such measures will lead to greater national currency fluctuations against foreign currencies. In addition, corporate clients may leave some banks in favour of others, which would offer better exchange rates. Sharp fluctuations in exchange rates may have a negative impact on people’s deposits in the banking system. The National Bank said that if the negative trends on the foreign exchange market increased, it would switch back to fixing mode.
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.