Strong Belarusian rouble may lead to losses in food industry and machine building

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April 22, 2016 19:20

In June and July 2015, the Belarusian rouble depreciated against the Russian rouble by 11.1%. Enterprises in mechanical engineering and food industry are the main exporters to Russia with the Russian rouble being the contract currency. For Belarusian exporters, strong national currency means less rouble revenues from exports, losses from the supply of low-margin products due to poor diversification of exports, deteriorating financial health of enterprises, potential problems with servicing loans, wage arrears, and reduced tax revenues. In order to reduce losses, enterprises may delay payments on export contracts, which in the short term would lead to reduced currency sales on the market.

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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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