State support may temporarily improve financial performance of some enterprises
In late July 2015, MAZ reported a net profit for the first time after continuous losses since early 2015. Its financial performance has improved mainly due to the support from the state (circa BYR 1 tillion). Otherwise, it would have reported losses again. Other large enterprises may fiddle with their factual financial performance data. The state funds will be spent on expansion of production and salaries. Amid growing budget deficit, minor budget items may be subjected to sequestration. Industry employment rates may somewhat improve. The authorities may seek to improve the state budget situation by increasing the burden on profitable enterprises and by making audit and inspections at enterprises more frequent.
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.