Belarusian authorities will not allow new political prisoners to appear
Activists of the non-registered organisation "Young Front" Dmitry Dashkevich and Sergei Palchevsky reported on June 7th that they received a notification from the KGB dropping charges against them in the “mass riots” case. As predicted, the authorities are attempting to relax tension with regard to the ‘White Legion’ case by setting the detainees free. Apparently, the Belarusian leadership is interested in retaining the dynamics in the Belarusian-European normalisation and have received a caution against appearance of new political prisoners. Having put a leash on the protest movement, the Belarusian authorities are demonstrating their readiness for a dialogue with the opposition, however, so far, the latter has not publicly suggested any negotiating topics.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.