Belarus’ authorities create working group in response to National Referendum initiative

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April 22, 2016 18:57

On behalf of the head of state, the Belarusian government has created a working group, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Tozik that will carry out a comprehensive analysis of Belarus’ education system. Until recently, the authorities claimed that there were no serious problems in education, however, the Belarusian government may have been prompted to respond to the National Referendum campaign that has paid attention to the accessibility and quality of education in the country. Questions chosen for the National Referendum,may have prompted the Belarusian authorities to start a dialogue with society on issues that do not bear a direct threat to the political stability.

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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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