Authorities ready to give promises to business once again
The Belarusian Economy Ministry has initiated public discussions of a draft directive “”. Previously, at a meeting on tax policy issues, President Lukashenko warned against frequent changes in taxation rules. Amid the lack of resources to buy the loyalty of the population with income growth, increased focus on market issues and new economic liberalization and de-bureaucratisation programmes imply that the authorities are preparing for the election campaign. In addition, the government creates a favourable background for negotiations with international financial institutions, like the IMF, regarding a new loan.
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.