The nomenclature continues its attempts to expand the political functions of "Belaja Rus"
At the extended meeting of the national council of the organisation, the chairman of the republican public association ‘Belaja Rus’ Alexander Rad’kov emphasised that so far, in Belarus, there is no political figure comparable with current President Alexander Lukashenko. Despite the fact that ‘Belaja Rus’ is a public association, representatives of the organisation targeted their regional structures at active involvement in the 2015 election campaign at all stages: starting with the formation of election commissions, through observation, nomination of candidates via collection of signatures and, finally, the canvassing campaign. It is noteworthy that the leadership of ‘Belaja Rus’ announced their intentions to collect the required 100 thousand signatures in favour of the incumbent president within 5 days and cover all the polling stations across the country in terms of observation, which, under the existing conditions in Belarus, is a luxury that cannot be afforded by the majority of political parties on their own. The leadership of ‘Belaja Rus’ has harboured desires to occupy a niche of the ‘party of power’ within the Belarusian political system for many years. However, President Lukashenko is still afraid of consolidation of the interests of the nomenclature within the framework of one organisation and does not allow for the significant strengthening of political functions of ‘Belaja Rus’.
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.