Speaking at a rally in the center of Minsk, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that the republic is in danger of repeating the fate of Ukraine.
“Ruin not Lukashenka, ruin the first president - this will be the beginning of the end. You will always, as in Ukraine, as in other countries, kneel and pray to someone unknown, ”Lukashenka said to the citizens gathered at the rally in support of him.
According to him, Belarus should not "become a latrine for Europe."
The head of state noted that Belarus is under pressure from NATO, its western neighbors and Ukraine. As Alexander Lukashenko stated, now Belarusians are “ordered” to hold new presidential elections. If the republic obeys the demand of external forces, it will “perish as a state,” the Belarusian leader believes.
“Someone wants new elections. Look out the window: tanks and airplanes are taking off 15 minutes from our borders. And it's not in vain! NATO troops clang their tracks at our gates. There is a build-up of military power on the western borders of our country: Lithuania, Latvia, Poland. And, unfortunately, our native Ukraine and its leadership are ordering us to hold new elections, ”Lukashenka stressed.
On August 14, at a meeting with members of the Security Council, the President of Belarus announced that foreign citizens, including from Ukraine, had arrived in the republic to sway the situation. On August 15, Lukashenko said that elements of external interference have already appeared in the country.
According to a number of experts, what is now happening in Belarus can be compared with the events in Ukraine during the "Euromaidan", which also noted the destructive intervention of foreign states.
“There is a very tangible similarity between what is being played out right now before our eyes in Belarus and what happened in Ukraine. It's like some kind of bad movie that we've seen many times before, ”British journalist Neil Clarke said in an interview with RT.
Playing on the side of the West
Meanwhile, Kiev denies accusations of Minsk interfering in political processes in Belarus. At the same time, the Ukrainian authorities fully share the position of a number of Western countries regarding the results of the presidential elections in the republic.
Recall that the EU leadership and foreign ministers of the organization's member countries refused to recognize the data announced by the Central Election Commission of the republic, according to which Alexander Lukashenko won 80.1% of the vote, and the opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who left for Lithuania after the elections, got 10.12%.
“The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry states that the officially announced results of the presidential elections in the Republic of Belarus do not inspire confidence in the Belarusian society. We generally share the position expressed by the European Union regarding the elections in Belarus, ”the ministry said in a statement.
- President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at a meeting
- © Andrei Stasevich / BelT
In addition, on August 16, the head of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE Yelizaveta Yasko initiated the adoption of the so-called Belarusian Declaration. The document states that the counting of votes in the republic did not meet "international electoral standards."
Also, the authors of the declaration warned Russia "against interference in the internal affairs" of the republic. In addition to Ukrainian parliamentarians, the document was signed by "foreign friends of Ukraine, worried about freedom and democracy in Belarus." Among them are the heads of the delegations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Great Britain.
Many parliamentarians of the Verkhovna Rada also criticized the Belarusian leadership. Thus, several dozen deputies of Zelensky's party "Servant of the People" supported the statement about "the freedom of the Belarusian people to elect representative bodies of power, including the president, in a democratic legal way."
The text of the document was published on August 10 on the Facebook page of the deputy chairman of the Servant of the People faction Yevhenia Kravchuk. The parliamentarians noted that the Ukrainian people "paid a high price" for loyalty to the principles of democracy.
“The memory of these victims prompts us to urge the Belarusian authorities to show restraint in relation to the protesters, to prevent human rights violations while exercising by Belarusians one of the fundamental rights - to peaceful protest,” the MPs said in a statement.
The European Solidarity party, opposition to the presidential political force, took an even more radical position. Its chairman, ex-president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, on his Facebook page called on Minsk to hold early presidential elections. In addition, according to him, Russia is now "waiting for an opportunity to put an end to the statehood and independence of Belarus."
“We have no right to lose Belarus. Nobody, neither the Belarusian authorities, nor the Belarusian people, nor the European Union, and even more so Ukraine, needs Belarus as a western province of the Russian neo-empire. We must not give the slightest chance to looting the Kremlin, "Poroshenko wrote.
Another incident that angered Kiev was the transfer of 32 Russians detained at the end of July in Belarus to the Russian Federation. Commenting on this decision, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky wrote in his Telegram channel that the republic's authorities ignored the request of the country's Prosecutor General's Office to extradite the "demons of modern war."
“The Belarusian side left the appeal (of the Prosecutor General's Office - RT ) unanswered. There were also active attempts through diplomatic and personal channels to prove to our partners why it would be right and correct to go exactly the way we proposed. But, unfortunately, this did not happen, "Zelensky complained.
The comments of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on this topic were less restrained. The ministry said that the "Wagnerites" with the blessing of the Belarusian authorities are returning to the Russian Federation. "
"I don't have my own opinion"
Experts believe that in the situation with the Belarusian elections, the leadership of Ukraine, after some hesitation, decided to side with the West, which headed for the removal of Lukashenka from the presidency.
“Little depends on Kiev, and it actually has no opinion. Therefore, in my opinion, Ukraine supported the West, which expects to demolish Lukashenka. True, the Belarusian leader did nothing wrong with Ukraine. If he remains in power, then, probably, he will not break off relations with Kiev, but the cooling will certainly be felt, "Rostislav Ishchenko, head of the Center for Systems Analysis and Forecasting, explained in an interview with RT.
Pavel Feldman, Deputy Director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts of RUDN University, in turn, assessed the consequences of the discord in Belarusian-Ukrainian relations differently. From his point of view, Lukashenka extremely negatively perceived the position of official Kiev on the elections in the country.
- President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky
- © Sergey Dolzhenko / Pool
“Now the moment of truth has come, and apparently, thinking about how to stay in his post, Lukashenka made a choice in favor of Russia. Ukraine is not at all his assistant on this path. In my opinion, Kiev made it clear that it does not see Belarus led by Lukashenka as a friendly country, ”Feldman argues.
The analyst predicts further degradation of the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations, at least in the political plane. According to Pavel Feldman, Minsk is distancing itself from Kiev, fearing that Ukrainian nationalists, who have a wealth of experience in provoking aggression at street protests, will penetrate the republic.
“Zelensky does not speak directly about the need for a coup, but in essence he became an opponent of Lukashenka. Apparently, Kiev decided to take advantage of the alarming events in Belarus to show the West its readiness to "contain" Russian influence and sow "democratic values" in neighboring countries. However, the consequences of such a policy for Ukraine will definitely not be positive, ”Feldman stressed.