Lukashenka calls off round table talks

Belarusian political scientist Paval Usav comments for Belsat on recent statements of president Lukashenka, in which he canceled his offer to hold round table talks.

“The authorities want to prove that even though some of the prisoners are released, it does not have to be followed by a political liberalization. Especially in a context of deteriorating economic situation, which can provoke social disorder.” – said Usav.

He thinks that the regime’s objective is to restrain the opposition and to prove that politics of control and repression are still in place. – When it comes to the direction of the foreign policy, it is a signal for the EU: if you don’t accept dialogue on our terms (releasing prisoners, but no democracy), than the regime will continue with repressions. – thinks Usav.

Releasing some of the political prisoners supposedly, was a result of negotiations between Lukashenka and Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Mladenov. “Rzeczpospolita”, a Polish daily newspaper, reported that Mladenov promised to Lukashenka 2 billion euro in exchange for releasing all the prisoners of conscience, by the end of this year. But the information was firmly denied by the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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