Border Committee Chairman Maltsev strengthens his position in Belarus with Russia’s aid
The Union State Border Committee Board meeting has nominated Chairman of Belarus’ State Border Committee, Leonid Maltsev, as the Board’s Chairman.
Despite the fact that the Union State of Belarus and Russia is a rudimental integration body from the mid-1990s, cooperation between the parties continues in several areas, including border management. Maltsev’s position inside Belarus has been shaky since November 2013, when President Lukashenko relieved him from duties as State Secretary of the Security Council and nominated head of State Border Committee. Recently, Russians supported Maltsev by upholding his nomination as head of the Union Border Committee. According to the Regulations, the Committee can only be headed by a relevant Committee head of each state.
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.