Belarusian state makes state property less attractive by prosecuting Motovelo managers
The Court summoned Motovelo Ltd as a civil party in the criminal case against Alexander Muraviev and other former top managers of the plant. The criminal prosecution of former Motovelo owner and head of the Austrian ATEC Holding GmbH Alexander Muraviev, who ranked 36th in the top 200 successful and influential businessmen in Belarus, creates a negative investment background. It was not the first time the Belarusian authorities renationalised formerly state-owned enterprises sold to private investors. The government’s attempts to preserve and modernise large and outdated enterprises inherited from the Soviet Union at investor’s costs were futile. That was mainly due to the privatisation conditions put forward to private investors, which copied relations of the state with state managers without taking into account market relations. Criminal prosecution against former owners of Motovelo and Elizovo glassworks reduces private investors’ interest in the state property privatisation on the state’s terms.
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.