Trade Union leader resigned over conflict between influential groups in president’s entourage
According to the Trade Unions Federation press office, Leonid Kozik, TUF head, submitted a resignation letter.
In 2002, President Lukashenko endorsed Kozik to lead the largest trade union in Belarus. Before becoming the TUF head, Kozik was Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration. Kozik was a loyal servant, ensuring full support for President Lukashenko by the trade unions during the past 13 years. His resignation was most likely due to the growing contradictions between him and other influential groups in the president’s entourage, as well as the enhanced anti-corruption campaign and frequent corruption scandals in his organisation. Most likely, President Lukashenko will be prompted to intervene and make a personal decision about Kozik’s future fate and career.
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.