Disgraced Belarusian ideologists attempt to restore their influence on Russo-Belarusian relations
Pro-Kremlin analysts specializing in the Belarusian-Russian relations have launched a public discussion to find a way out of the Belarusian-Russian integration deadlock. Simultaneously, disgraced Belarusian ideologists of the "Russian world" are attempting to disrupt the normalization between Minsk and western capitals by discrediting Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, who, according to them, is the architect of the western policy in Belarus. The Kremlin’s information attack aims to launch a public discussion in Belarus about her future developmental choice in order to deepen the split in the Belarusian power elite and reinforce positions of Eurasian integration supporters. Apparently, the discussion about the possible successor is likely to prompt President Lukashenka to pay more attention to the Russo-Belarusian agenda.
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.