Opposition is attempting to limit growth of Tatsiana Karatkevich political weight as potential candidate
The Belarusian Popular Front Soim has decided to waive further support for ‘Tell the Truth!’ activist Tatsiana Karatkevich in the presidential elections. It is worth noting that a significant part of Soim participants has appealed for continuation of the BPF participation in Tatsiana Karatkevich’s campaign. Apparently, some political parties are seeking to limit the growth of Tatsiana Karatkevich political weight as a potential candidate, who, if registered, will become the only opposition candidate on the ballot. Meanwhile, the BPF refusal to support Karatkevich’s campaign will not seriously affect the course of the campaign - a number of activists from the “People’s Referendum" initiative will continue supporting Karatkevich’s team.
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.