CSTO meeting: Lukashenka, Putin slam West for ‘unprecedented pressure’ on Belarus

On December 2, a meeting of the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) was held via videoconference.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin chaired the meeting in which Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kyrgyzstan’s Acting President Talant Mamytov, Tajik leader Emomali Rahmon, CSTO Secretary General Stanislau Zas as well as Alyaksandr Lukashenka took part.

According to Lukashenka, Poland and the Baltic states are eager to bolster their influence in the European Union.

“The frenzied behaviour of Poland and the Baltic countries towards Belarus is actually worth special notice. More than that, we can clearly see that their actions aim to pursue their own interests and boost their importance in the European Union. And I want ordinary people in these neighbouring countries to hear about their politicians’ shameless and unworthy behaviour,” the Kremlin press service quotes Lukashenka.

The politicial believes that so-called colour revolutions and ‘ordinary riots’ have become commonplace in the world.

“… in 2020, Belarus is experiencing blatant interference in its internal affairs, including through provoking civil discontent. We are being openly told to change the government, the laws and social representation, otherwise they threaten to strangle us with sanctions, destroy our economy and infrastructure, and transform the moral and ethical foundations of our society,” he said.

Lukashenka is also concerned over the ‘build-up of the US and NATO military presence near the CSTO’s western borders’, referring to the deployment of an additional US troops contingent in Poland and US ‘plans to create new military infrastructure’ there and the Baltic states.

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In turn, commenting on the post-election developments in Belarus, Vladimir Putin said that the country came under ‘unprecedented external pressure’.

“I very much hope that the Belarusian people will muster enough political maturity in order to calmly and without any abrupt movements build an internal political dialogue with all political forces, and resolve all internal issues on their own, without any pressure or outside interference. I have no doubt that it will work out, given the political experience of the president of Belarus,” he said.

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’.

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belsat.eu, following kremlin.ru