Belarusian government may ’’adjust’’ census-2019 results in accordance with needs
During a de-briefing with Chairman of the National Statistical Committee Inna Medvedeva, President Lukashenka requested to present a concept for the national census-2019 by late August.
For austerity reasons, the authorities plan to conduct the census using employees of government bodies and local councils. In 2017, the authorities will hold a pilot census, which may reflect the deterioration of the socio-economic status and wealth of households compared with the national census-2009 (back then Belarus looked good compared with other countries in the region). In addition, the pilot census-2017 may lead to changes in schemes and methodology of the national census-2019, which would allow for some ‘adjustments’ of the results in accordance with the needs.
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.