Economic insolvency is pushing towards Belarusian Army reform
At a meeting with the Security Council Secretary, Lukashenko requested to conduct spot inspections in the Armed Forces.
Similar practices were introduced in Russia in 2013 and would become common, as President Putin said, during the preparations for the Belarusian-Russian ‘West- 2013’ military exercises. Belarus’ growing dependence on Russia in the military sphere forces her to follow the trends in the Russian armed forces. In addition, a spot inspection in the Armed Forces will allow the Belarusian authorities to identify the most important elements in the defence system, which require modernization as a matter of priority and redistribution of dwindling public funds accordingly.
When the inspection is completed, President Lukashenko will take the final decision about how to reform the Belarusian Army. Most likely, priority will be given to air defence systems, Air Force, and special operations forces.
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.