Political analyst: West can make concessions despite political prisoners
Political scientist Alyaksandr Papko said that in the tense geopolitical situation in the region, the Western countries can make concessions to the official Minsk.
Papko: "Rapprochement of Belarus and the West happened repeatedly in the past. And it is likely that in a situation when Ukraine is at war, the West will be less dismissive of Alyaksandr Lukashenka, perform some of his wishes, have talks with him. So the warming of relations is quite probable."
At an extraordinary session of the House of Representatives, on January 15, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said that Belarus will specifically to normalize relations with the West. The President also noted that the West expect from Belarus "some signal", waiting until the presidential elections pass. Meanwhile, the issue of political prisoners, that the EU and the United States believe is the main obstacle to the resumption of dialogue with Belarus, is still unresolved.
According to Alyaksandr Papko, the possibility exists that the West will now turn a blind eye to political prisoners and begin a rapprochement with the Belarusian authorities.
Papko: "Some warming of relations between Belarus and the West are already happening despite the fact that Mikalai Statkevich is in prison and Alena Tankachova is being sent out of the country. We got no strong reaction to this. Maybe some sort of compromise will be reached, and the EU will make some small steps forward, even if the political prisoners are in jail. But personal sanctions against Alyaksandr Lukashenka and certain officials and businesses will not be removed. Negotiations can go on about providing Belarus with a loan from the IMF, where the EU has a large number of votes."
It is not the first time that the Belarusian leader makes such statements, but so far they have not been followed by concrete steps towards Western partners.
Photos - Belsat