Belarusian authorities forced to cut back social support
As of 2015, Communal Housing organisations in Minsk will be restructured and will lose their autonomy, thus becoming structural entities of Housing Repairs and Utilities Organisation.
The Belarusian authorities have been prompted to reform the housing and communal services due to the lack of resources to maintain its socio-economic model. Disregarding the upcoming presidential campaign in 2015, they will reduce social support for the population. In addition, despite opposition from some reluctant nomenclature, the Belarusian government will take steps towards some economic reforms, inter alia, with technical assistance from the EU.
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.