Good news from Belarus is rare, but last weekend president Alexander Lukashenko pardoned six political prisoners.
For the pardoned, all serving multi-year prison terms for challenging Belarus’ autocracy, this is, to say the least, a relief, and has been welcomed by local democrats and the international community.
Lukashenko has declared his decision an act of “humanity”. But is, in fact, a carefully timed tactical move to sway the European Union at a time of growing domestic and geopolitical pressure.
The question is whether he will succeed this time.