National Bank has to find new resources to refinance Belarus’ foreign currency liabilities
According to the National Bank, the net supply of foreign currency by legal entities and private persons on the domestic market side totalled USD 1.7 million. In the past four months, the average volume of net supply was USD 220 million per month, which helped the National Bank to maintain the gold reserves level. Net currency supply has reduced due to the negative situation in foreign trade and the summer holiday season. During the summer, low net supply of foreign currency will persist. In order to attract currency, banks may raise some rates on foreign currency deposits for legal and physical persons; obtain new syndicated loans, which could be used to refinance the National Bank’s obligations; and the Finance Ministry may place new securities on the domestic market. In view of the favourable situation on the international financial market, Belarus may issue Eurobonds with a total worth of USD 500 - 1000 million, which could solve the problem with servicing Belarus’ external debt before Q4 2016.
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.