Belarusian authorities aspire to normalize relations with US and EU
Last week, the EU lifted sanctions against 24 Belarusian officials. Meanwhile, the Belarusian authorities have not made any public moves in order to fulfil the requirements on which these sanctions have been based. On August 2nd through August 4th, a US Congress delegation visited Belarus. During the visit, they met with Lukashenka and both sides expressed mutual hope for normalisation of bilateral relations. Amid the lack of progress with the human rights situation in Belarus, the Belarusian authorities regard moves by the West as additional evidence that in order to normalise relations they simply should refrain from new repressions.
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.