Belarusian entrepreneurs will not use parliamentary campaign to put pressure on authorities
Belarusian entrepreneurs are reducing in number, according to Deputy Economy Minister Irina Kostevich. The authorities managed to knock down the SME protest activity, although some tension remained in the entrepreneurs’ environment. Nevertheless, most entrepreneurs have either adapted to the new environment, or closed down their business. In addition, the government announced some easing of conditions for doing business, which may relieve tension among entrepreneurs. Apparently, the opposition was unable to politicise claims of entrepreneurs and encourage them to act and actively participate in the ongoing parliamentary campaign.
Image: Darya Burakina, TUT.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.