Security officials strengthen anti-corruption control and their role in redistribution of state resources
Security officials have enhanced their influence on the redistribution of state resources and their role in financial and economic sectors. In addition, some nomenclature representatives with business interests have attempted to use power bodies to redirect state resources amid budgetary cuts and revision of state support programmes. Perhaps, the top leadership has authorised the anti-corruption persecution against some state managers in order to renew staffing in the public sector.
The Financial Investigation Department said that it was completing investigation of several corruption crimes committed by state officials.
The Belarusian leadership fights corruption in annual or bi-annual cycles and usually, a peak in the revealed anti-corruption crimes is followed by a decline. That said, anti-corruption persecution peaks occur during crisis years, when the resource potential of the Belarusian state is the weakest.
The state has continued to revise the budgetary policy and state support programmes for the coming years, which has affected the interests of businesses close to the state. For instance, the president has adopted and is revising plans for new large-scale state investments, eg a programme aimed at restoring urban settlements and modernization projects for depressed regions with a pilot project in Orsha.
Most likely, the state's large-scale investment plans are causing attempts to redistribute influence among the nomenclature and related business with the persecution of high-ranking officials. Corruption scandals and financial conflicts are beginning to affect retirees, former prominent officials from the presidential hierarchy, who apparently have lost their influence and contacts in the security block after leaving their posts.
After the final approval of state programmes and redistribution of state resources, the wave of anti-corruption persecution against public managers is likely to decline, especially if the economy resumes growth.
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.