Belarusian opposition loses its appeal
Independent experts have summed up the preliminary results of the presidential campaign, including the outcome of the debates on Belsat TV Channel. Most of them believe that the part of the opposition, which has chosen the ‘boycott’ strategy, has lost its potential as a generator of changes in the country by narrowing its audiences to the social networks. Participation strategy has been recognised as a more successful approach, so as the campaign by the only democratic candidate Tatsiana Karatkevich. However, experts treat this strategy with a share of scepticism too, since it still has to build its potential – human, organisational and seek for greater support in society.
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.