Fight for Leadership Among Belarusian émigrés
The media continue to discuss the role of Belarusian émigrés in the fight against Lukashenko’s regime.
Several independent internet media published an article by former Belarusian prosecution officer Dmitry Petrushkevich called “Belarusian opposition Ltd”. The author blames the Belarusian opposition for inefficiencies and suggests revising the history of its foreign funding. He also blames the BNR Rada for a lack of action. Finally, the author offers to establish a new center of resistance in exile.”
The Belarusian opposition is regularly accused of inerita in the media. Efforts are made to establish the centralised control over the management and financing activities of alternative political forces. The discussion is led by former law enforcement officers.
The former commander of the 5th Special Forces separate brigade, Colonel Borodach, and former KGB Major Romanovich, who are both now in exile, have also made similar arguments.
At present, the authors put forward only the ideas which are not supported by any real action, such as organising a nuclear immigrants’ collision. Their initiatives should be viewed as private experimental suggestions.
However, the professional past of discussants will not allow them to gain the trust necessary for organising an efficient center in exile. In March 2012, the BNR Rada gained the support of a number of Belarusian cultural activists and nationally-oriented politicians. They signed a joint statement saying that the BNR Rada is the only authorised representative of the nation abroad.
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.