Worsening of financial statistics in the real sector
By 1 May 2011 accounts payable amounted to Br 66.3 trillion, compared with 1 May 2010 they increased by 38.2%, while consumer prices grew by 18.1% during this period.
Between January and April 909 organizations were at a loss. Net losses of unprofitable organizations in January-April 2011 amounted to Br 1 trillion, or increased by 44.3% in January-April 2010.
As of 1 June 2011 stocks of finished products at industrial enterprises in Belarus amounted to Br 7578.6 billion, and increased by 51% from the beginning of the year.
Volume of stocks has been rising continuously since the beginning of the year: in May by 10.5%, by 2% in April, by 1.9% in March, by 7.9% in February and by 21.8% in January.
The real sector cannot stay away from the unfolding crisis. Further reduction in income, growth of loans interest rates, the need to pay back foreign currency loans, all these and other factors contribute to the increased debts and loss-making of enterprises.
Moreover, the government’s efforts to stabilize inflation by putting administrative constraints on prices will lead to even greater imbalances. Many of the industrial, energy companies used foreign currency loans within the framework of modernization programs. The impossibility of their service will rebound to the banks. In order to avoid bankruptcy the government subsidizes state-owned enterprises from the budget funds (which is currently difficult), as well as enhances overall redistributive processes.
All these measures are contrary to the requirements set by Russia and the IMF in their reform programmes.
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.