State-owned enterprises to list additional BYR 680 billion to state budget
The Council of Ministers has ordered the most profitable Belarusian companies to list part of their net profits from 2014 totalling BYR 680 billion to the National Development Fund. Potash producers and pipeline transport enterprises will carry the heaviest burden. In the future, the list of companies may expand based on their financial performance. In addition, the state may increase financial audit of enterprises in order to gain additional budgetary proceeds from penalties and fines. In response, enterprises may start spending more on improving their material base thus reducing nominal profits. In addition, local authorities may put pressure on private enterprises in order to gain funds for their needs.
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.