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Belarusian civil society in quest of cooperation with politicians

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July 26, 2016 15:35

In the last two weeks, a public discussion about the place of Belarusian CSOs in politics their attitude towards politicians spontaneously started in social networks. This debate follows the recent split in the civil society, when some supported the ‘realism’ represented by ‘Tell the Truth’ during the last presidential campaign, and others supported ‘romantics’ represented by Statkevich and other supporters of the boycott/disregard (ie, non-participation in political campaigns on moral grounds). The conflict in the opposition and the failure of the boycott strategy, have prompted civil society activists to stay away from any political activity and to assuming the role of moral judges. In the past two weeks, opinion leaders, such as Karbalevich, Drakakhrust, Zisser, Bobrovich and others have raised the debate in social media about the credibility and appropriateness of such a position.

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October 02, 2017 11:49
Image: Catholic.by

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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