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Lukashenko strengthens public officials’ discipline in countdown to presidential campaign

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April 22, 2016 18:51

The Investigative Committee opened a criminal investigation against two Vice- Chairman of the Gomel regional executive committee on charges of corruption and abuse of power and official authority. In addition, there were some staff shifts in the State Security Committee (KGB), including replacement of the Grodno regional head. Recent trends include intensified anti-corruption campaign and permutations in power bodies. Influenced by events in Ukraine and the lack of progress in socio-economic development, President Lukashenko is strengthening discipline and loyalty among public officials and security forces before the presidential campaign kicks off. The president seeks to strengthen the loyalty of security agencies by staff-rotations and tightening the screws for public officials.

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Minsk attempts to make up for image losses from military exercises by opening to Western values
October 02, 2017 11:49
Image: Catholic.by

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.

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