Minsk counts on financial support from United States
Last week, Belarus’ Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich visited New York, where he held talks with U.S. politicians and businessmen.
Amid growing tensions between the Kremlin and the West, the political crisis in Ukraine and the de-politicisation of Belarusian-European cooperation, Minsk hopes that the USA will lift the economic sanctions, thus enabling the authorities to balance out their increased financial dependence on Russia with Western investments and loans from international financial organisations, the IMF in particular. The Belarusian government is also counting on American business’ interest in promoting their products on the Russian market. It is ready to make some concessions to Washington, for example, to enable expansion of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Belarus. However, official Minsk would not yield to the pressure to change its domestic policies or improve relations with the opposition.
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.