On November 10, Russian leader Vladimir Putin chaired a videoconference meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Heads of State Council. In the course of the event, he touched on the subject of protests in Belarus.
Belarusian Prime Minister Raman Halouchanka also took mart in Tuesday’s meeting; Belarus was granted observer status in the organisation in 2015.
According to Putin, the increased number of attempts of ‘direct foreign interference’ in the internal affairs of several states involved in SCO activities is one more open challenge to common security.
“I am referring to the blatant infringement on sovereignty, attempts to split societies, change the countries’ path of development and sever the existing political, economic and humanitarian ties that took centuries to develop. An attack of this kind has been directed by external forces against Belarus, an observer country of the SCO,” the Russian President stressed.
In the wake of the latest presidential election, Belarusians are facing ‘unprecedented pressure, sanctions, provocations, information war’, Vladimir Putin believes.
“We regard this as unacceptable that external forces are trying to enforce any decisions on the Belarusian people. They must be given time to sort things out and take whatever steps may be necessary. The same is true of the recent developments in Kyrgyzstan and the unfolding internal political fighting in Moldova,” he added.
Earlier, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that there had been ‘an attempt to bring about a change of power’ in Belarus with the financial and political backing of the West.
On August 9, the presidential vote was held in Belarus; its official results were not recognised by the EU and the United States. The Kremlin, in turn, acknowledged the legitimacy of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s sixth presidency. Moscow sees no sense in establishing contacts with representatives of the opposition Coordination Council set up by Lukashenka’s election opponent Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya and her associates, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his Belarusian counterpart Uladzimir Makey.
In late August, Vladimir Putin announced Russia’s forming a reserve force of law enforcement officers to ‘help’ Belarus if necessary. According to him, Russian forces will not be used ‘until the extremist elements in Belarus, under the guise of political slogans, cross the border, start to simply rob people, start burning cars, houses, banks, try to seize administrative buildings and so on’.
belsat.eu, following kremlin.ru