Financial health of Belarusian enterprises continues to deteriorate
Belarusian economy in January-February 2015 made a net profit of BYR 2.8 trillion, which is 45% less compared with 2014. In January 2015, economic losses were record low – BYR 42.9 trillion, however the situation somewhat improved next month thanks to tax loss carryforwards as of January 2015. This measure cannot entirely prevent deterioration financial health of enterprises in 2015. Poor financial health, in turn, may lead to a reduction in investment activity, except those subsidised from the state budget, and further lay-offs. Sale of state-owned enterprises or their IPOs on international markets are unlikely due to a significant distortion of their financial picture. Most industries are unprofitable, which may increase the number of bankruptcies among state enterprises 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.