Amid increased speculations about change of power in Belarus, importance of security forces enhances
A debate in the independent media and expert community about the prospects for change of power in Belarus may cause tension among various state departments and prompt President Lukashenka to intervene. In the Belarusian nomenclature, the fight between supporters of Belarusian-Western normalisation and those advocating for tougher role of the security forces has exacerbated. In addition, part of the Belarusian opposition would like to regain influence on the Belarusian-European relations by weakening the authorities’ pro-Western policy.
Next week, President Lukashenka will debrief the law enforcement agencies.
Some independent media outlets published speculative reports about the change of power in Belarus, President Lukashenka’s possible successor and dispositions among nomenclature groups. Apparently, media and expert community anticipates enhanced imbalances in the Belarusian nomenclature.
Amid lingering tension in the Russo-Belarusian relations and speculations about Lukashenka’s inability ‘to solve political issues with the Kremlin’, the controversy about a successor could actually bolster some contradictions in the Belarusian government. Some analysts still believe that the Belarusian officials preserved dual loyalty to Minsk and Moscow yet from the Soviet times, which is unlikely so. Nevertheless, some state agencies, the security forces and industrialists in particular, are rather oriented towards preserving a special relation with the Kremlin and regard the lingering tension between Minsk and Moscow as Moscow's dissatisfaction with Belarusian-Western normalisation.
Belarusian Foreign Ministry, led by Makey, was also subjected to information attacks, so as he was regarded as the chief architect behind the improvement of relations with Western capitals. It is worth noting that if the Belarusian authorities fail their new Western policy, the positions of street activity supporters will strengthen and the opposition may regain the influence on the Belarusian-European agenda.
In the near future, due to information attacks and speculations about the change of power in Belarus, the president is likely to lose confidence in some state agencies and strengthen the role of the security forces.
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.