It were the economic sanctions imposed by the US against Lukashenka’s regime have made the Belarusian authorities release political prisoners, believes one of the leaders of the civil campaign “European Belarus” Andrei Sannikov.
“It is good news indeed that Andrei Kim and Syarhei Parsyukevich are released next to Kazulin. The leading role in release of the political prisoners belongs to the consistent and firm position of the United States that didn’t retract from its own line even after boorish pressure on the US Embassy in Minsk. It were the sanctions imposed by the US, and linking their lifting to release of political prisoners that have forced the Belarusian authorities adopt these decisions. Besides, the firm stance of the democratic forces of Belarus, who had been constantly highlighting demands to release political prisoners and stop repressions, as well as international solidarity with Belarusian democrats which has made it possible for Zmitser Dashkevich, Artur Finkevich, Andrei Klimau, Yury Lyavonau, Mikalay Autukhovich, Syarei Parsyukevich, Andrei Kim, Alyaksandr Kazulin to be released,” the politician believes.
However, according to Sannikov, release of the rest of political prisoners couldn’t be viewed as a factor of the electoral campaign’s democratization.
“It is most likely that the regime is to use their release to gain international recognition, but there is no election in Belarus as before. And it is obvious now, as in order to really change the situation in the country actually it is necessary to postpone the September elections, to allow the opposition to take part in the parliamentary elections in reality, not just allow sham participation. Then we could speak about readiness of the regime to some kind of changes,” Andrei Sannikov said.