Some Belarusian industries will suffer losses in 2015
Due to foreign currency differences in September 2015, industries were able to reduce losses by circa BYR 7.6 trillion. However, this will not prevent a further deterioration in the financial health of the majority of industrial enterprises. In order to facilitate their situation, machine-building and iron and steel enterprises will require assistance in repaying their loans. Even with such assistance, these enterprises will increase arrears in payments for raw materials, extend settlement terms, and increase part-time employment. Garment and furniture industry require reduction of wages in order to be able to compete with Russian producers on the domestic and foreign markets.
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.