The National Bank to prevent banks from manipulating interest rates
The National Bank warned banks that any distortion of real interest rates using payments of fees would be regarded as a law violation. The National Bank limited interest rates on loans and deposits, and the banks have responded by applying various additional payments when issuing loans and additional rewards for the account holders. As a result, real interest rates on loans and deposits will fall, the agreements and conditions on loans and deposits will be unified, the lending activity will increase, and the volume of ruble deposits in the banking system will fall. In order to keep their profits banks might increase fines for overdue payments on loans. The competition for income of the citizens will shrink due to the sufficient volume of liquidity within the banking sector.
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.