Developing relations with Islamabad is not a priority for Minsk
During talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President Lukashenka said that Belarus and Pakistan were keen to develop effective and mutually beneficial cooperation.
In Islamabad in May 2015, President Lukashenka talked about the need for a "road map" of cooperation between Belarus and Pakistan the Belarusian government however had not prepared any drafts for the visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif to Minsk, but promised to do so by October 2015. Currently, official Minsk is unlikely to focus on developing trade-economic and military cooperation with Pakistan due to their modest potential in terms of exports of Belarusian goods and investment potential of Pakistani business.
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.