Falling oil prices will adjust potash fertilizers export plans in 2015
In 2015, the Belarusian Potash Company plans to export 9 million tonnes of potash, which is 5.3% less compared with 2014. The expected decrease in potash exports Q4 2015 is due to the fall in oil prices, which has led to the devaluation of national currencies in China, Brazil and India, main buyers of potash fertilizers. Belarus exports circa 90% of produced fertilizers, which means that production volume might decrease to levels of 2014; that chemical industry would no longer have a positive impact on the industrial production index; that Belaruskali would contain investment costs; and that foreign currency earnings would only slightly exceed the 2014 volumes (USD 2.7 billion) thanks to higher prices on potash fertilizers in H1 2015. The worsening outlook for potash fertilizers sales will curb influence on the pace the Nezhinski project is implemented (by Slavkaly) and on the development of the Petrikov deposit (by Belaruskali).
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.