Kanopatskaya may grasp opportunity to unite opposition in regions
Anna Kanopatskaya, an MP from the opposition, urged last week to abolish the decree "on social parasites" and hold a tax amnesty. A United Civic Party member, Anna Kanopatskaya, is demonstrating loyalty to her party and is willing to exploit her parliamentary opportunities for collaboration with other members of the centre-right coalition. The MP has voiced a number of initiatives, yet it is not clear which social groups would become a priority in her activities. By raising a large number of issues using her MP mandate, she may atomise her efforts, and be unable to apply the necessary pressure on the authorities on the most important issues for the opposition. In the near future, the UCP is likely to use the potential of MP Kanopatskaya to unite opposition structures within the centre-right coalition in the regions.
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.