Economic recession unlikely to prompt Belarusian authorities to privatisation in 2016
The State Property Committee has published a list of 56 companies and 4 proprietary complexes to be put for privatisation in 2016. There are no economy’s cornerstone enterprises on the list and most companies require financial recovery. Due to special requirements, such as preservation of working places and other financial burdens, only few enterprises may be privatised. It is easier for a potential investor to open a new enterprise than privatise state ones, due to the fact that the state would like to interfere in management at the privatised enterprises even after their sale. According to the authorities, the IMF has softened its position with respect to privatization during the economic recession, therefore the state is unlikely to reduce control over the Belarusian economy in 2016.
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.