Without administrative resource wage arrears will grow in Belarus
According to the National Statistics Committee, in October the number of enterprises with wage arrears increased from 13 to 111. Thanks to the administrative resource, in early October most wage arrears were paid off, including at insolvent companies. However, in November wage arrears will start growing again, local authorities will not pressure enterprises to repay overdue debt, employment in various economic sectors will reduce and retail turnover will decline. In November, the state will no longer support artificial employment at enterprises and many industrial enterprises will be prompted to reduce working hours.
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.