According to Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko Vladimir Putin has promised his country “comprehensive aid” in the event of a request. This was reported by the state news agency Belta after a telephone call between the two heads of state.
Lukashenko sees the protests in his own country as a threat not only to Belarus but also to Russia: “I would like to say that the defence of Belarus today is no less than the defence of our entire territory, the Union state,” Lukashenko said.
After the meeting, the Kremlin merely announced that both sides were confident that the problems would soon be solved. While Lukashenko has pledged Russia’s support, he rejects interference from other countries such as Poland, Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia. He was referring to an alleged offer by these countries to act as mediators. “We will not give the country to anyone,” he said according to Belta during a meeting with the Ministry of Defence. He was also concerned about NATO military exercises in Poland and Lithuania. He perceives this as military armament.
Lukashenko threatens strikers with job lossState wide the demonstrators took to the streets in several cities on Saturday. The largest crowd gathered in the capital Minsk, commemorating a demonstrator who was killed in a protest action. Workers in state-owned enterprises had stopped working in the past few days. Lukashenko announced that every state employee who was supposed to join the strikes would lose his job.Lukashenko fears a revolution like the one in neighbouring Ukraine in 2014. “We are already reading the instructions for a color revolution,” he claimed. “We must not allow ourselves to be lulled by the peaceful actions and demonstrations,” said the head of state, who is also considered “Europe’s last dictator. He once again referred to the strength of his military, but without directly threatening with deployment – unlike during the election campaign.
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