JRL NEWSWATCH: “Alexander Lukashenko changes tack in Belarus stand-off” – Financial Times/ James Shotter, Max Seddon

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“Meeting imprisoned opposition leaders is departure from previous hardline approach”

“After … weeks in the Belarusian KGB prison, tech executive Dmitry Rabtsevich and a dozen opposition activists … [were visited by] embattled strongman … Lukashenko … [in] an unannounced roundtable with his jailed opponents. The jail then quickly released … Rabtsevich …. The bizarre four-and-a-half-hour jail meeting … was … Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.govLukashenko’s first with opposition figures since … a deeply flawed election in August … [followed by] a brutal crackdown …. [with the meeting being] a striking change in tack from the 66-year-old autocrat ….”

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