Lukashenka about protests: West helping ‘roughnecks’ to destabilize situation in Belarus

Constitution Day: Protests in Minsk

Belarusian opposition activists are trying to destabilize the situation in Belarus with the help of the West, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on Monday when receiving the report on the preparations for the Belarus-Russia joint strategic army exercise West 2017.

According to the Belarusian leader, he is hardly concerned about ‘certain confrontation’ between the Belarusian-Russian group and NATO units deployed by the country’s borders. In his opinion, it is the ‘attempts to apply modern methods’ to aggravate the domestic situation that are especially noteworthy.

“This pertains to the attempt of our ‘fifth column’ with the financial assistance (we can trace it, I do not threaten anyone), of western funds and with the guidance of western intelligence services to encourage our roughnecks, who have run away from the country abroad, to destabilize the situation in Belarus,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Lukashenka as saying.

“We will cope with this. It is not a problem,” he promised.

In February-March, there has been an eruption of protesting the so-called ‘parasite’ law in Belarus. The decree signed by Alyaksandr Lukashenka in April, 2015 established the obligation of the citizens of Belarus, foreign citizens permanently residing in Belarus, stateless persons, who did not participate in the financing of public spending or participated in such financing less than 183 days (six months – ed.) in the past year, to pay a fee of 20 basic units (appr. $230).

Police abuse in Mahiliou, 15.03 (ENG subtitles)

About 200 Belarusians have been detained, fined, jailed after recent non-parasite marches. Last week, trials of participants were held in Minsk, Hrodna and Mahiliou. Most of them were accused of violating the order of holding mass events and disobedience to police officers’ demands. It should be noted that plainclothes policemen who refuse to show their IDs a or introduce themselves often beat people and prevented journalists from performing their professional duties.

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