Belarusian government changes policy to preserve stability on labour market
Mogilev Carriage Works has stopped operations due to a catastrophic drop in demand for its produce. The state has no funds to ensure 100% employment for public sector workers via maintaining production levels and stocking produce in warehouses amid falling demand. The authorities have been prompted to suspend production at large enterprises in order to reduce maintenance costs for unprofitable enterprises. Nevertheless, ahead of presidential elections, the government will provide some minimum social protection and employee benefits to relieve tension on the labour market.
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.