Myasnikovich’s Government: no resignation threat
President Lukashenko spoke about possible changes in the government, headed by Prime Minister Myasnikovich, due to economic failures.
Since Mikhail Myasnikovich has become Belarus Prime Minister, Lukashenko has raised the Government’s resignation issue from time to time. Yet President Lukashenko lacks the candidates for the Prime Minister’s post, as well as other members of the Government. Besides, changes in the Government will not improve the situation in the economy, which requires structural reforms. Lukashenko cannot afford reforms ahead of the presidential elections in 2015. In the near future, President Lukashenko will not make radical shifts in the Government.
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.