Unprofitable enterprises on sale once again
A sales plan for over 500 unprofitable assets is now being coordinated in the government.
Most likely, many of these state enterprises will not be sold due to additional conditions slapped on by the government. This attempt to get rid of loss-making enterprises is bound to fail. Few enterprises will be sold, and the most unprofitable ones might be merged with more successful ones of a similar profile. In the future, lists of unprofitable enterprises will get longer as the financial situation deteriorates. In 2012 and 2013, Belarus announced plans to sell state assets worth at least USD 2.5 billion annually. So far, however, these plans have not materialised.
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.