Privatization: securing rears
A letter of the State Property Committee of Belarus “Regarding holding of annual common meetings of members of business associations” rules that representatives of state can be appointed to the Supervisory Board of any joint stock company by passing elections when the state has at least one share in it.
Experts regard this new initiative as identical to the “golden share” rule, recently annulled in Belarus. It seems, the state strengthens its positions in Belarusian joint stock companies prior to a large-scale privatization. The state representatives will be protecting state interests while debating and voting on the company’s policy on production, employment, dividends, etc.
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.