MINSK, 10 August (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko commented on the unauthorized street actions that followed the presidential election. The head of state told reporters that the response to illegal actions will be adequate; no one will allow breaking the country into pieces, BelTA has learned.
“The things I had said turned out to be right. Those who did not believe it, will believe it now. Someone is trying to foment tensions here. I warned that no maidan revolutions will occur here no matter how much someone wants it. Therefore, you should calm down. I want to tell parents again to check where their children are, so that they will not regret it or lament afterwards. About 25 riot policemen were injured; they have fractures of arms and legs. They were the target of violence and they responded. What's the point of whining and crying now? The response will be adequate. We will not let break the country into pieces,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state noted that the pieces of information he received in the run-up to the election helped build a clear picture of what could happen. “Of course, this is not what they [organizers of the actions] wanted. As I had said they wanted to make a fire in the center of Minsk, take chars and throw them all over Minsk. Of course, they did not succeed. Maybe, we made some mistakes and miscalculations. I also admitted frankly that we did not know 100% what they wanted,” the head of state said.
The president cited facts he received this morning. “One conversation helped us understand who masterminded it. Czechia is one of the puppeteers. Today this allied campaign is managed from Czechia. These sheep, pardon my French, from this campaign have no idea what one wants from them. I ordered to forward this information to the media, so that people will see what they want. They keep insisting, keep demanding: take people to the street and engage in talks with the government on voluntary power transfer,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“They want Lukashenko, who is at the head of the power vertical and who received 80% of the vote, to give them power. These orders come from abroad. Although we need to give our dues to locals: they are filled with indignation saying that this is impossible, that the situation is different in Belarus to engage in talks. People from abroad are trying to control this process. Let alone Poland. They have settled down there and are beginning to to pull the strings. Let along Ukraine (people from there were coming to Belarus). This is not their state policy. But there are many maidan-inclined people. There is a certain flow, unfortunately, from Russia,” the president said.
The president said that these foreign nationals do not stick their necks out. “They push local kids. You saw who was wandering around the cities at night trying to provoke the police. Not just provoke. They attempted to storm a police building. In Novogrudok or Korelichi I think (this information is now being verified) they attempted to storm government buildings,” the Belarusian leader noted.
“More so. Today 200-300 people were directed by the organizers of the protests to the south of Belarus where a regional government building was surrounded. “Border guards who are based there had to interfere. This shows that they gathered people to try to seize government buildings,” the head of state noted.
Aleksandr Lukashenko commented on the situation with long queues on the election day near some polling stations. “They were queuing, waiting for the polling stations to close at 20:00 and to appeal the results complaining that they were denied the opportunity to vote. I asked the Central Election Commission to extend the voting times. At 20:20 all queues dissipated. There was one polling station where it took another 30 minutes after 20:00 for all people to vote,” the president said.
According to him, this situation shows that people who had no relation to a particular polling station came there with the aim to interfere with its work.
Moreover, members of election commissions were evacuated from 33 polling stations in Minsk. Those polling stations were blocked. “I ordered the servicemen and the President's Security Service (we organized groups) to take those people out of the polling stations. Is this public order?,” the president said.
“The strangest thing is that yesterday evening we received information from the so-called united campaign. They all gathered in one building, including opposition journalists. Some 55 people. Someone from there called us and asked the government to place that building under protection. They got scared. This building was besieged. We had to send some 120 people to control the situation around the building. If one of them got hurt, we would be blamed for this. That is why we had to place this building under protection. They do not appreciate it. Soon they will,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“We will deal with every one of those who were provoking and pushing young people into the streets. I think they will soon understand that they are doing the wrong things. We cannot allow this,” the Belarusian leader said.
In his words, certain people abroad are pulling the strings and getting big money, while young people here, the participants of the unauthorized rallies, do not understand this. “If a crowd gathers some 200m away from the Palace of Independence and we hear them saying on the phone that they need some 100,000 people to storm the Palace, what response from the law-enforcement bodies will be? It is good that the riot police held them. Had they approached the Palace of Independence, the Security Service, anti-terror services would have stepped in. That would be an absolutely different story. These riot police officers deserve gratitude. They saved them from this critical step. The situation was not catastrophic, but rather dangerous for the people who were pushed into the streets,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.