President Lukashenko launches broad anti-corruption campaign ahead of presidential elections
At a meeting on improving anti-corruption legislation, President Lukashenko ordered a single anti-corruption draft law to be prepared and opened to public discussion.
As the 2015 presidential elections draw closer, due to a lack of other options, Lukashenko is enhancing his anti-corruption rhetoric in an attempt to buy the electorate’s loyalty with welfare growth. He also wants to increase efficiency of the public sector by resuming anti-corruption campaigns, and thus boost people’s confidence in state institutions. Such measures usually have a positive effect on the president’s approval ratings, but are unlikely to significantly improve the situation in the public sector.
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.