Sectoral sanctions against Russia may create problems for Belarusian banking system

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April 22, 2016 19:18

On June 30th, 2015, the US Treasury included Belvneshekonombank in the list of organizations that are subject to sectoral sanctions envisaging a ban on access to financing by American companies and banks for a period exceeding 30 days. The Belarusian bank has received a formal ban on access to financing for a year in connection with the sanctions applied against the parent bank. As a result, the terms of settlements for the bank’s customers will be prolonged when dealing with foreign contractors in US Dollars; American companies and their representative offices in Belarus will refuse to cooperate with the bank’s clients; some large clients may transit to other banks; and there may be some problems with implementation of contracts denominated in US Dollars. In the view of further expansion of sanctions, other Belarusian banks may be included in the list, i.e. subsidiaries of Russian banks, which account for more than 20% of Belarusian banks’ assets.

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Minsk attempts to make up for image losses from military exercises by opening to Western values
October 02, 2017 11:49

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.

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