Belarusian president shows loyalty to medium and large businesses development
During a visit to the ‘Minotor Service’, a private production and trade unitary enterprise, President Lukashenka said that the state should not treat the private sector as rivals and requested to provide support for private enterprises. The president is attempting to relief tension in Belarusian society caused by the opposition of SMEs with the state. The president has outlined sectors and forms of private businesses the most suitable for the government - export-oriented medium and large business. Yet the authorities have not demonstrated the intent to make significant concessions to SMEs and meet their cornerstone demand - to cancel or postpone the ban on trade in imported goods without supporting documents. For instance, throughout the week entrepreneurs were denied a meeting venue to hold the next business forum. The authorities are counting on the gradual extinction of SME protest activity, which is localized in the regions and does not extend to the capital.
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.