Next Step for Belarus As Opposition Leaders Released From Jail

  • Lukashenko met with the opposition leaders in the KGB jail.
  • Voskresensky said that he was instructed to prepare proposals for amendments to the Constitution.
  • It is plausible Victor Babariko will be able to register his party Together With Babariko.

A member of the initiative group of Viktor Babariko, businessman Yuri Voskresensky and Director of  PandaDoc Dmitry Rabtsevich had a meeting with Lukashenko.  Thereafter, they were released from the jail. The announcement came via Belarus 1 TV Channel. Belarus 1 is a state-owned television channel in Belarus.

Furthermore, the release happened after the president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko visited the jail where these opposition members were held.

Alexander Lukashenko met with the detained representatives of the Coordination Council and the joint headquarters of the opposition in the KGB detention center. The meeting was attended by 11 people.

According to Voskresensky, the meeting with Lukashenko was productive, even though it was difficult at times. The details of the conversation between all parties were not released.

The decision was agreed upon by the all participants. It is highly likely, it was part of the conditions of their release.

Voskresensky said that he was instructed to prepare proposals for amendments to the Constitution and to present approaches for the release of a number of the individuals who “were not as socially dangerous for our country as it seemed at first stage”.

It is clear, that Lukashenko is following through on the promises he made to the Russian President Vladimir Putin in September. One of the stipulations was to start working on the Belarusian Constitution reform.

Moreover, Dmitry Rabtsevich stated that he intends to continue to do business, because the structure of the Park of high technologies “has all the conditions to pay a decent wage, to develop, to build the future together.” Hence, he is not interested in the future political career going forward. Hence, it is plausible to believe he is tired of the experience he had and his detainment.

The member of the Belarus opposition Victor Babariko.

However, the protests in Belarus continue on the smaller scale. At present, the goal of the Lukashenko is to reduce the scale of street protests while simultaneously trying to finally get into the space of the political process of constitutional reforms and exit from the crisis of legitimacy associated with the rejection of the society election results August 9, 2020.

The Kremlin insists on the constitutional referendum and subsequent elections. Putin understands the risks of unsolved problems of legitimizing Lukashenko, which may make it difficult to implement some significant projects in the future.

Lukashenka’s visit to the KGB prison in Belarus and meeting with V. Babariko and a number of other opposition shows that Lukashenko is trying to form some kind of national consensus on the referendum issues.

Overall, the visit to the pre-trial detention center should be followed by the termination of criminal prosecution of at least some of the participants in this meeting and ensuring that they can be positioned as legal participants in the discussion of the new Belarusian  Constitution.

It is even plausible, Lukashenko will allow the Babariko party “Together” V. Babariko” to obtain the official party status in Belarus. This move would give him a boost and also gain allies during the constitutional reform process.

In conclusion, Lukashenko now is in the stage of the political negotiations and discussions with the certain opposition.

Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

Leave a Reply