Lukashenko expresses distrust of state law enforcement agencies
At a meeting to discuss the comprehensive review of the criminal and criminal procedural laws, President Lukashenko underscored that the law enforcers and other public officials from controlling and regulatory bodies did not always perform their duties in good faith.
Lukashenko is expressing distrust in the Belarusian law-enforcement system and is constraining criminal law from being liberalised especially in the fight against corruption. As the 2015 presidential elections draw closer, and, bearing in mind that this particular issue has triggered a constitutional change in Ukraine, Lukashenko is increasingly worried about potential tension in Belarusian society and low public trust in the law enforcement. He is ready to toughen penalties for corruption crimes and strengthen the anti-corruption campaign in law enforcement.
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.