Updated at 11:25,18-04-2018

Expert: Authorities ready to release political prisoners

Zmicier Lukashuk, euroradio.fm

But MEP Justas Paleckis would not have been allowed in Belarus, if he demanded to meet with political prisoners prior to his visit.

"... We can speak of a signal from the Belarusian side: the fact that the European Parliament delegation Rapporteur on Belarus Justas Paleckis has been allowed to visit our country means that the Belarusian side is inclined to restore contact with Brussel," says analyst Dzyanis Melyantsou.

"Still, there is a ban on high-level contacts between the EU and Belarus the same as it was," adds leader of the Fair World party Syarhei Kalyakin.

Rapporteur of the European Parliament Delegation for Belarus Justas Paleckis arrived in Belarus on March 18. The politician gathers information for his report "on the state of relations between the EU and Belarus".

Experienced people saw much more behind this visit. For example, they saw evidence that the ban on contacts between top officials of the EU and our country was abolished.

"Paleckis’ task is to assess the situation, whether the implementation of EU’s line of co-operation is possible, are there any positive changes, whether they are possible, and to offer a further way of interaction, " says the “Fair World” leader Syarhei Kalyakin to Euroradio. He met with the European politician on the first day of his visit to Minsk.

According to Euroradio, Paleckis raised the issue of political prisoners during a meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Belarus Alena Kupchyna. The EU will be consistent in its demand to release political prisoners. As for the fact that the speaker himself will not meet with them ...

Dzyanis Melyantsou: "... if he demanded to meet with political prisoners, they simply wouldn’t have allowed him into the country."

The official Minsk is mentally prepared to release political prisoners, says Melyantsou. Another thing - the EU ...

Dzyanis Melyantsou: "Minsk wants certain guarantees, to have some bonuses after this step. The EU is not ready to provide any guarantees or bonuses by now. There are talks on this topic now and it slows down the period of positive messages."

We'll wait, too.