Eurobonds rates increased
The escalation between Belarus and the EU resulted in undesirable financial results. Belarusian Eurobonds quotes went down. The yield on five-year Eurobonds increased from 10.08% to 10.74% per annum (on 1st March), on 7-year bonds – from 10.29% to 10.61% per annum (on 1st March).
The yield on bonds is considered a benchmark for the placement of new bonds. In other words, if today Belarus decides to place bonds in the European bond market foreign investors will agree to provide funds at 10.7% per annum. For instance, a week ago, before the escalation of the diplomatic conflict, funds could be attracted at 10.1% per annum. When a country borrows hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, even hundredths of a percent plays a big role.
Another important consequence is that due to the escalation a positive trend for Belarusian bonds has been interrupted, deteriorating chances to attract new funding.
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.