New Eurobonds will be issued to repay previous borrowings
As of June 19th, 2017, Belarus is planning to conduct a road show of Eurobonds nominated in USD in the US and Europe. Citi, Raiffeisen Bank International AG and the Development Bank of Belarus will be the organisers, the total issue volume could be up to USD 1 billion. Bonds maturity period would be between 5 and 10 years, taking into account the absence of problems with the settlement of external liabilities. The demand is expected to exceed the issue, the interest rate could be 5% to 6% per annum depending on the maturity, and some bonds could be bought out by organizations and trust funds located in Belarus. Most funds raised from the bond issue would be spent to repay Belarus’ Eurobonds with 7-year maturity period, which expires in January 2018. The remaining funds would be transferred to international reserves and used to repay other external liabilities.
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.