Most loyal officer was appointed as State Secretary of Belarusian Security Council
Major-General Stanislav Zas was appointed as the State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus. Despite the formation of the Russian-led military bloc (CSTO) and close Russo-Belarusian military integration, Zas is a supporter of greater independence for the Belarusian army. He is an asymmetrical warfare theorist, which is particularly relevant for Belarus due to rising tension in the region and the protracted conflict in eastern Ukraine. In addition, Zas is one of the most loyal officers to the Belarusian state, who has repeatedly emphasised his commitment to moderate development of the Belarusian culture. The Belarusian authorities will continue their prudent personnel policy and carefully replace senior officers in the security forces and the army with those loyal to the Belarusian state.
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.