Updated at 01:25,03-03-2021

“Candidate for presidency is an expensive commodity, and they don't want to give him for free“

The president certainly knows about the appeal of Andrei Sannikov, but he won't hurry to let him go. That's how the political analyst Valeriy Karbalevich, author of the book "Alexander Lukashenko. Political Portrait" commented to UDF.BY on the information, that former presidential candidate has written an appeal for pardon already on November 20, 2011, but he's still in prison.

"President told, that he will consider the release of Sannikov, Statkevich, and others only if they will write an appeal for pardon. Directly Lukashenko didn't promise, that today is a petition - tomorrow freedom", the political scientist said.

He suggested, the wording of a petition could be not those, which Lukashenko would like, for example, there is no complete confession of guilt, or some other nuances. Karbalevich not rules out another round of the game with the West, where the appeal will be used.

"Candidate for presidency is an expensive commodity, and they don't want to give him for free", the expert believes.

According to the political analyst, political prisoners won't serve a full term and soon will be released, despite the fact, that "the first-person psychology often prevails over rational interests, not to mention national ones".

"This is a thorn in relations with the West, a factor frightening investors. And Belarusians don't approve the situation of ex-presidential candidates in prisons, as indicated by independent sociological researches", Karbalevich thinks.

He also considers a murder of Sannikov in jail as unlikely: "We still live in Europe, where now the murder of an opposition politician turns the country into Iran and North Korea, into absolute pariah". The threat of murder, in his opinion, is a form of psychological pressure exerted on Sannikov by a prison administration and sanded prisoners. Lukashenko cannot agree to the death of political prisoner, because the resonance will be too high.

Also, an appeal for pardon of ex-presidential candidate cannot be called a victory of Lukashenko over the most adamant political prisoners.

"Maybe, Alexander Lukashenko considers the appeal of Sannikov as a victory. But any normal man can hardly call a victory the situation, where a large bull in a form of the state repressive apparatus press on a powerless man", Valeriy Karbalevich said.