Myasnikovich’s economic revival program not to be fully implemented
At the Presidium of the Council of Ministers meeting, Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich identified Belarus’ key priorities for the economy in 2014: balanced economic growth and efficiency.
The Belarusian authorities aspire to stabilize the economy ahead of the 2015 presidential campaign through a series of unpopular measures. President Lukashenko does not want to be associated with such decisions and shifts the responsibility for their adoption and implementation to the government. However, the measures announced by Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich, aiming to improve the Belarus’ economy, cannot be implemented in full because they threaten the existing socio-economic model.
Nevertheless, persistence and consistency might help the government to achieve some success and somewhat improve the economic situation, which means softer social policies right before the 2015 presidential elections.
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.