Moderate wage growth will persist in Belarus despite reduced labour efficiency
In May 2015, the average monthly wage in Belarus totalled USD 466 – an increase by USD 47.9 compared with January 2015. Wages grew despite the decline in labour efficiency in the Belarusian economy. Wage growth will continue due to the holiday season and mandatory payments for workers’ rehabilitation. Simultaneously, the demand for foreign currency will increase due to the need to acquire currency for recreation outside the country, and the increase in turnover in the retail trade will be negligible. Despite loss-making, state-owned enterprises are likely to receive state aid in order to pay wages to workers. Before elections, layoffs may affect pensioners only.
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.