Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Expert: Minsk and Washington first to exchange gestures

Euroradio

Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei says there will be no changes in relations with the West after Ales Bialiatski's release.

Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei told Belarus state TV channel that even after release of all those who are described in the West as "political prisoners", Belarus would be questioned again.

Political analyst Yury Chavusau reckons this statement targets the domestic audience, because relations between Belarus and the United States and European Union have intensified recently and the release of Ales Bialiatski is the result of those intensified contacts. It is a message to the West: we are ready to make concessions.

Yury Chavusau told Euroradio:

The Belarusian regime has found a favorable moment when the release of political prisoners can yield the biggest political dividends. In this particular case, Makei's statement can be read as follows: we have found for ourselves the most convinient and favorable moment to begin trade in political prisoners as it is the most benfitial in this situation.


According to Chausau, the moment became favorable for Belarus after the events in Ukraine. Belarus continues to maneuver between East and West, but the negotiation process will be gradual. He said:

It is no secret that Belarus needs loans and financial assistance or at least restructurization of the previous debts.

The commentator notes that it is the United States not the European Union who "holds the keys for the solution of these problems." The process will begin with an exchange of gestureas between Minsk and Washington to be followed by real steps and concessions, reckons Yury Chavusau.