National Bank will increase Belarusian rouble dependence on situation in Russia
As of November 1st, 2016, the National Bank changes the share of currencies in the currency basked in Belarus by increasing the share of the Russian rouble from 40% to 50% and reducing the share of the Euro from 30% to 20%. The share of the US Dollar will remain at 30%. The change is due to the results of trading on the Belarusian Stock Exchange in 2016, so as Russia's share in foreign trade turnover in Belarus exceeded 50%. The Belarusian rouble is likely to increase dependence on the Russian rouble fluctuations. If oil prices change significantly, the National Bank will accelerate the pace of the Belarusian rouble exchange rate fluctuations. In the short-term, Belarus’ dependence on the Russian market is unlikely to reduce and Belarus may further adjust share of currencies in the currency basket.
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.