Interest rates on rouble deposits will not raise above 35% per annum
At an enlarged meeting, the National Bank to impose higher coefficients on banks’ reserves if their average interest rates on new overnight deposits exceed 35% per annum. Higher coefficients mean that banks’ costs to service such deposits will increase, the National Bank therefore anticipates that banks might reduce their interest rates on deposits. The competition among banks for people’s resources would decline to the benefit of state banks, since they can set the upper limit for deposits and reduce people’s desire to seek a better offer. In May, the National Bank is expected to reduce interest rates on overnight loans to improve business’ accessibility to credit resources. If interest rates for the population fall below 25% per annum they may react with a sharp withdrawal of Belarusian roubles from the banking system.
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.