Belarusian authorities bolster anti-corruption campaign to discipline local authorities
Last week, the Investigative Committee detained chairs of Chashniki and Rogachev district executive committees on suspicion of corruption. In the midst of the presidential campaign, the Belarusian authorities have initiated another round of the anti-corruption campaign against the authorities in the regions. Anti-corruption cases have been launched against the most unpopular regional leaders, which will certainly have a positive effect on the ratings of the Belarusian leadership. In addition, before the campaigning stage starts, the central authorities will attempt to discipline local authorities and encourage their active involvement in ensuring the necessary elections results.
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.