Statistically, wages in Belarus continue to grow
In March 2015, the average monthly wage in Belarus totalled BYR 6 483700 (USD 441) – increased by USD 40 compared with February 2015. Despite a further fall in industrial production wages have increased in all industries. Wage growth will continue: due to the expected inflation rate exceeding 5% level, wages in the public sector will be adjusted accordingly. However further wage growth will be limited by financial capabilities of enterprises. Many more companies might delay wages. Due to the rapid growth of part-time employment and wider practices of sending workers on unpaid leave, methodology for calculating average wage may be adjusted in order to show statistical wage growth.
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.