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Belarus is trying to improve product sales bypassing Moscow

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April 22, 2016 19:12

Some tension in bilateral relations with Russia have urged the Belarusian government to develop relations with Russian regions. Since early 2015, leaders and delegations from four Russian regions – Ingushetia, Udmurtia, Chuvashia and the Chelyabinsk region visited Minsk. Each time, inter alia, state supplies of Belarusian products to these regions have been discussed. Direct contacts with the Russian regions could boost overall Belarusian exports to Russia, however such cooperation should not be too efficient in the eyes of the Kremlin, otherwise the latter will hamper rapprochement between Belarus and Russian governors.

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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.

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