Belarusians regained confidence in national currency deposits
According to the National Bank, in July 2014, despite lower deposit rates, fixed-term deposits in the national currency grew by BYR 197.5 bln – the largest increase since early 2014.
Rouble fixed-term deposits will still be more attractive than currency ones due to the National Bank’s predictable policy regarding the depreciation of the Belarusian ruble against the US Dollar. Banks’ currency deposits will increase only due to interest capitalisation. Individuals will continue selling their currency savings (net supply will persist). If the Government decides to issue foreign currency government bonds at 6.5-7% per annum, they might be in demand by the population.
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.