Minsk wants to avoid taking sides in West-Russia confrontation over Ukraine events
President Lukashenko has had a telephone conversation with Poland’s Prime Minister Tusk about international developments related to the events in Ukraine. However, official information about the conversation promptly disappeared from the BELTA and Interfax-West news agencies’ websites. Despite Belarus’ attempts to find a balanced approach and not to spoil its relations with the new Ukrainian authorities, Belarus’ position regarding events in Ukraine is forming under the pressure of, and in line with, the Kremlin’s foreign policy. The Belarusian president’s talks with the Polish Prime Minister may be perceived by the Kremlin as an attempt to escape from the defined framework, which could narrow Belarus’ room for manoeuvre. The Belarusian government is not willing to become involved in a confrontation between the West and Russia over the events in South-East Ukraine.
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.