Equal subsidies to Belarusian and Russian machinery on Russian market since 2015
The Eurasian Economic Commission’s Board representative from Belarus, Sergei Rumas, said that as of January 1st 2015, Belarus-made machinery sold on the Russian market will receive subsidies from the Russian budget.
If so, Belarus can count on additional sales for Belarusian producers, primarily in agricultural engineering (e.g. MTZ, GOMSELMASH), and the Belarusian government will require less funds to support the industry. Belarusian machinery makers will be able to increase capacity utilization and reduce warehouse stocks. The main risk is the bureaucracy of the Russian government in deciding about the subsidies’ allocation and their size, as well as the availability of sufficient funds.
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.