The US approved the decision of the Belarusian President Lukashenko concerning the release of political prisoners. The President pardoned his former opponent at the presidential elections of 2010, as well as a number of other members of the opposition. "Voice of America" called this "an attempt to reconcile with the West".
Dmitry Bolkunets, expert on Belarus in the Higher School of Economics: "Belarus tries to normalize relations with its Western partners, and the Ukrainian friends of the Belarusian President, namely Poroshenko and Saakashvili, appear to contribute to it. The head of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spent 4 days last week in Ukraine, and should have been trying to get some aid via the Ukrainian friends, so that they could help him to rearrange dialogue with the United States and the EU.
Today, the Belarusian regime faces a serious problem - the absence of money, external funds, so that the country could come through the crisis without serious consequences. Thus, Lukashenko is interested in the Western investments and credits. Will the Western partners give him a credit? - it's a very complicated question. And the third reason is that Lukashenko goes to the presidential elections, and it is of high importance for him to gain recognition of his fifth term by the Western countries."
Among those released there is a former presidential candidate Nikolay Statkevich. He was convicted as an organizer of mass disturbances. Which fate does Statkevich face now?
Dmitry Bolkunets, expert on Belarus in the Higher School of Economics: "Nikolay is a member of those politicians, who won't have a possibility to be at the helm. However, he can get into the Parliament. In case there are elections, authentic elections to the parliament, Nikolay has a chance to be in the Parliament. Beside that, he can push through a party, and lead it."