Sberbank and Deutsche Bank will credit Belaruskali for USD 2 billion
The loan will be secured by export contracts and guarantees of 35% of the shares of the enterprise. This was announced by Head of Russian Sberbank German Gref at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday.
Since the growth of public debt is currently not feasible, the government bets on the growth of corporate debt. The loan is issued on the condition of export contracts of Belaruskali, the only sustainable and stable generator of the foreign currency earnings in Belarus. The issue is that the loan needs to be repaid otherwise, 35% of the stakes of the enterprise will be given away for $ 2 billion only, which is times less than previously projected amounts. Therefore this loan is not a victory, rather a failure of the President to find cheap loans.
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.