Belarusian salaries in Q4 will recover to 2015-standard
According to the National Statistics Committee, gross wages in August reached USD 383; wages grew for six consecutive months and since February 2016 - by 25%. One reason for the wage growth was layoffs - salaries of laid-off workers were redistributed among remaining employees. Higher communal and utility tariffs have lowered the citizens’ pressure on the foreign exchange market in terms of reduced demand for foreign currency. Due to poor financial health of enterprises, wage growth is likely to slowdown, and layoffs are likely to persist. Unemployment is unlikely to grow due to administrative measures, such as setting a quota for registering unemployed at the labour exchange. Consumer demand is likely to remain low. In Q4 2016, salaries may exceed USD 390, which they were in 2015.
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.