Belarus’ authorities use inauguration of Ukrainian president for breakthrough in international relations
On June 7th, President Lukashenko attended the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine’s new president in Kyiv.
Lukashenko’s visit to Kyiv was kept a secret until the meeting between Presidents Poroshenko and Putin during the D-Day 70th Anniversary celebration in Normandy. The Belarusian authorities seek to use the opportunities opened up by events in Ukraine to step forward onto the international arena – primarily to normalise relations with European capitals amid the currently trending de-escalation of the confrontation between the Kremlin and Kiev. The Belarusian government also hopes to gain economic benefits from the Russo-Ukrainian conflict by increasing the penetration of Belarusian products into Ukraine and mediating the penetration of Ukrainian goods to the EEC market and vice versa - Russian goods to the Ukrainian market.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.