Manipulations with exchange rate differences did not help Belarusian mechanical engineering to end year with profits
According to the National Statistics Committee, due to writing off exchange rate differences, Belarus’ economic losses in September-October reduced by BYR 10 trillion. Despite the overall improved financial performance in the economy, mechanical engineering in January – October 2015 remained unprofitable. Consequently, lay-offs will continue, arrears in the economy will grow and payment discipline on credit agreements will deteriorate. The government is likely to provide financial support to the largest enterprises from the state budget. Amid persisting negative trends on the Russian market, demand for investment goods produced in Belarus is unlikely to increase in 2016, which will lead to a further deterioration of the financial health of the largest Belarusian machine-building enterprises.
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.