Belarusian president promises career development to public officials to build their loyalty
President Lukashenka continues to reshuffle high-ranking officials: since 2011, he replaced two thirds of the top managers ranking deputy minister and higher. When selecting candidates for senior posts, the president goes by their loyalty, not professional merits. For instance, emergency physician Valery Malashko after a record-brief 43-day service as the Minister of Labour and Social Protection was reappointed as the Health Minister. Apparently, President Lukashenka is planning a full renewal of top-managers in the coming years by moving loyal public officials up the career ladder. Such personnel policy allows the president to ensure the loyalty of top-managers and prevent formation of strong links between officials in the upper echelons.
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.