In January 2014, Belarusian enterprises’ net profits were under EUR 190 million
In January 2014, Belarusian enterprises’ net profits fell by 31.6% over the same period in 2013.
The situation with settlements in the economy continued deteriorating, several enterprises have shortened their working hours, tax revenues have reduced, and the pressure on the National Bank to adjust the exchange rate and interest rate policy has increased. It is likely that control over profitable enterprises will increase, mainly in the private sector, in order to step up budget revenues. It would be reasonable to anticipate a reduction in the number of employed in the economy due to lower wages in various economic sectors.
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.