BNF and BSDP(H) undergo changes
The Congress of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) party will be held on September 30th, which should elect a new chairman. Its current leader, Alexi Yanukevich cannot be nominated for the third time, according to the party Charter. Changes in the BPF leadership are unlikely to change the current configuration in the opposition, and the BPF will remain outside the coalitions. Similarly, the departure of more than 100 activists from the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada) is unlikely to affect relations in the democratic camp, albeit it would strengthen Tell the Truth, the centre-right coalition and the Belarusian National Congress. Each political centre is likely to preserve its agenda.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.