Belarus may cut support for government programmes with high lobbying potential
During the workshop related to problems and prospects for agricultural development, Chairman of the Parliament’s upper chamber Mikhail Myasnikovich underscored that the time was ripe to look into spending on agricultural support programmes and question those responsible for their implementation. In his opinion, such funds were not spent efficiently and did not ensure adequate pay-back. The state is trying to review approaches to financing of those public sectors, which have high priority and have a great lobbying potential in the government. It is worth noting that social tension is growing in the agricultural sector due to the biggest wage arrears among other economic sectors. Meanwhile, current initiative of senior public officials to optimise financing in agriculture is not their first attempt to change the situation in agriculture and is unlikely to become a success.
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.