Lukashenko attempts to improve discipline in regional security forces
President Lukashenko has dismissed the Gomel Region KGB Head “for the improper performance of official duties”, and Chief of Police at Brest Regional Executive Committee “for misconduct, defaming an official’s rank”. Being under the influence of the events in Ukraine, Lukashenko is raising the requirements for the security forces’ management and personnel. Both dismissals have meant to improve the discipline and to combat corruption in the security forces in the regions. President Lukashenko will enhance control over power agencies to reduce corruption and to increase manageability 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.