Authorities oppose to Maidan scenario’s promotion in Belarus by opposition
Rudensk village resident Vladimir Kondrus has been detained in Minsk and put under arrest onmass disorder on December 19th, 2010 charges. Independent analysts have marked a change in socio-political atmosphere in recent months against the backdrop of Minsk’s attempts to normalize relations with European capitals, relaxed pressure on the opposition, and lowered impact of events in Ukraine on public opinion in Belarus. Positive expectations in politics have gained momentum after years of apathy in Belarusian society in the aftermath of harsh suppression of the protest on December 19th, 2010, post-election repression against the opposition, the bloody events on the Maidan, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Simultaneously, some opposition members, supporters of street actions, have also resumed confrontation rhetoric and urged to organise street protests in the ‘Square’. The delayed prosecution of Kondrus by the authorities is likely to restrict the growth of street protest activity among the opposition.
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.