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Authorities initiate soft “Belarusianisation” policy

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April 22, 2016 19:00

While meeting with students from the Belarusian State University, the President’s Assistant for Economic Affairs, Kyril Rudy, said that a recent poll held by the National Academy of Sciences revealed that Belarusians consider the loss of the Belarusian language to be among the country’s main threats.

In recent years, the Belarusian leadership has sought to draw Belarusian society’s attention to national identity issues in order to reduce threats to national security amid the Kremlin’s aggressive foreign policy and recent developments in Ukraine. The Belarusian government will continue to implement a cautious and soft “Belarusianisation” policy in order to narrow the value split in the society and to consolidate it around the ideas of independence and Belarusian national identity.

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Minsk attempts to make up for image losses from military exercises by opening to Western values
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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.

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.

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