Moscow/Minsk: Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a warning and said, ‘We don’t want to see any external interference in Belarus. Otherwise, the political crisis in that state may escalate.’ Sources have informed that President Vladimir Putin issued the warning at an independent meeting with Germany, France and European Union (EU) on the crisis in Belarus. In the last ten days, anti-government protests erupted in the country opposing the re-election of President Lukashenko, which are garnering massive support from various parts of Russia and sections of its society. Nevertheless, as the protests gain momentum, President Lukashenko has alleged foreign conspiracy to be behind them, instructing the security forces to crush the demonstrations.
Last week, President Lukashenko had announced his victory in the Belarusian Presidential elections winning over 80% of the vote. However, local political parties and the international community have alleged extensive election fraud. The people of Belarus have taken to the streets to protest against the rigged elections. The protests that began in the last few days saw a participation of more than 200,000 citizens. Moreover, the protests have turned into the most significant challenge posed to Lukashenko in his 26 years of presidency.
Lukashenko has requested Russia for assistance in quelling the protests. After talks with President Vladimir Putin, Lukashenko claimed Russia had promised to provide military assistance to address the situation. Also, Russia was revealed to have sent out a group of intelligence as well as other top officials to Belarus. On the sidelines of the developments, Putin’s warning assumes much significance.
The European Commission recently convened a meeting for deliberation on Belarus. The Commission rejected the outcome of the recent elections in Belarus and decided to impose sanctions on the state. Russia President has had separate talks with Germany, France and the EU following the UN meeting. At the time, Putin warned the crisis in the country would significantly worsen if there were an external interference in Belarus. Additionally, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Presidential Spokesperson have reiterated Putin’s stand and said foreign interference in matters of Belarus was ‘unacceptable.’
The EU has vowed sanctions against the Belarusian regime. Furthermore, in its deliberations with the Russian President, EU called on Russia to help negotiate the political crisis in Belarus. Besides, the Belarusian President has taken an aggressive stance and stepped up military deployments at the Polish and Lithuanian borders. What’s more, the Police and other security agencies have been instructed to use force for crushing protests.