Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Is Foreign Minister Makey in deadlock situation?

Frequent meetings of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry leader with diplomatic representatives of Western countries should be considered within the rigid and unchanging frameworks set by Aliaksandr Lukashenka, who is still not ready to fulfill the main requirement: the release and rehabilitation of political prisoners.

According to Solidarity with Belarus Information Office, after the appointment of Uladzimir Makey as Foreign Minister in August 2012, the Ministry has significantly increased its publicity, especially where it concerns Western policies of Belarus. Numerous press releases of the Foreign Ministry can really create the impression of a careful preparation for a diplomatic breakthrough in the relations between Belarus and the European Union and the United States. In particular, over the last 4 months the Belarusian Foreign Ministry leadership met with the US Charge dAffaires in Belarus Mr Goldrich at least three times. A month ago, Mr Makey met with Director of the department for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, regional cooperation and the OSCE of the European Union External Action Service Mr Wiegand in Minsk.

"However, this active and impressive PR-campaign by Belarusian MFA should be regarded within the existing rigid political framework defined by President Lukashenka. In particular, the Foreign Ministry and personally Minister Makey are incapable of solving the main political conflict between Belarus and the West over the release and rehabilitation of political prisoners. In turn, a number of policy statements made by Western diplomatic representatives in December 2012 (Czech Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg, US Charge dAffaires Goldrich) demonstrated that Minister Makey failed to soften the EU and US positions in this conflict," SBIO analytical experts state.

Thus, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, in a sense, is in a deadlock situation: the appointment of Makey as Foreign Minister simply increased Ministrys international and public activity and visibility, but on principle incapable to achieve the desired political effect - as the issue of the release of political prisoners is not within the MFA competence, the experts conclude.