Lukashenko’s anti-corruption rhetoric aims to improve public institutions’ ratings
The president demanded to bring order to flax and meat-packing plants in Slutsk. Influenced by the events in Ukraine, Lukashenko intensified anti-corruption rhetoric to improve his electoral rating ahead of the 2015 election campaign. Using rhetoric, he is also attempting to disavow the derailed large-scale industrial modernisation project about traditionally high quality Belarusian products produced during the Soviet Era. In the near future, the Belarusian government will continue to explore the anti-corruption theme, with middle and low level government officials as the targets.
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.