Belarus’ government withdraws anti-corruption campaign from limelight
While visiting a flax plant in the Orsha district, President Lukashenko talked about the failure to meet the modernisation deadlines in the industry and demanded a revival of the Belarusian flax industry.
In mid-August, the new anti-corruption draft law was brought up for public discussion. Since then, the authorities have reduced the anti-corruption rhetoric and public coverage of the issue in the state media. In addition, there was less criticism of state managers for failures to implement state programmes. The authorities are not interested in society participating actively in the anti-corruption campaign, as its main aim is to boost President Lukashenko’s support ratings ahead of elections in 2015.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.