Putin is ready to deploy forces in Belarus if the post-electoral protest against the reconfirmed president Alexander Lukashenko should escalate. “Alexander Lukashenko asked me to set up a reserve of law enforcement agents and I did,”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview on his country’s public television, adding immediately afterward that he hoped that this will not be necessary and urging the parties to find a negotiated solution.
The Russian intervention would take place on the basis of already existing bilateral agreements on security cooperation, “but this will only happen if the extremist elements exceed certain limits: if they set fire to vehicles, houses, banks, or if they storm government buildings”.
Tensions in Belarus
In Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where martial law was proclaimed, the police dispersed the latest protests against Lukashenko, accused of rigging the August 14 elections. Before doing so, he stopped and took a group of about twenty local and foreign journalists to the barracks “for investigation”.
About seventy people have been arrested, according to a local NGO. In the afternoon, one of the main figures of the protest, Maria Kolesnikova, was summoned by the investigators who are investigating the opposition coordination council
The Belarusian opposition immediately criticized Putin’s words and the establishment of a reserve. The Polish government, which supports the demonstrators, also expressed its condemnation, while NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg asked Moscow not to meddle in the country’s affairs.
Lukashenko – in power since 1994 – claims that a hybrid war by the West is underway against his government, with the aim of ousting him
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