Official Minsk aspires to gain more weight on international arena

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April 22, 2016 18:53

The Belarusian capital might host a trilateral meeting to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine.

The Belarusian authorities have previously declared their readiness to become a platform for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Were the advisory group meeting (Ukraine – Russia – OSCE)  to take place in Minsk, the Belarusian authorities would strengthen their international position. The Belarusian government also reckons that official Minsk’s increased regional importance and neutral position in the Russian-Ukrainian confrontation will help it continue the process of normalising relations with the EU and the U.S. without major changes in domestic policy. 

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October 02, 2017 11:49

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.