The government will continue exerting pressure on importers
On March 3rd, presidential Decree No 99 extended the moratorium on VAT set-off for 2015. This decision shall apply to all deals as of January 1st, 2015, except supplies from the EAEC countries, which are not subject to this regulation. This measure aims to increase budget revenues; however, some importers might change the logistics of supply in Russia’s favour. As a result, the range of specialised imported goods might decline, prices on products originating from countries other than the EAEC, might increase, some importers may suspend or terminate their activities. The fact that this document has been adopted proves that Belarus has substantial problems with budget revenues and that the state would audit all economic sectors in order to find additional financial resources.
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.