Belarusian president starts post-election staff reshuffle in public administration
Nikolai Korbut left his previous position of Chief Inspector for Minsk region, and was appointed Assistant to the President of Belarus. The president was looking for an assistant for over a year, since Alexander Radkov resigned in May 2015. Korbut is back to the top-level management job after years of disgrace because of a scandal in the Presidential Office, which he headed in 2009-2013. Apparently, after the parliamentary elections, the Belarusian leadership may undertake staff rotation at the national level and in the regional bodies of state administration.
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.