Alexander Lukashenko has no plans to negotiate with the opposition’s Coordination Council, accusing them of wanting a ‘catastrophe’ for the country by cutting ties with Moscow, and destroying the health and education systems.
He was speaking to Russian journalists who arrived in Minsk on Tuesday for Lukashenko's first interview since he was officially declared the winner of a disputed election last month.
“I won’t talk to the opposition’s Coordination Council because I don’t know who these people are. They are no opposition. What they suggest will be a catastrophe for Belarus and the Belarusian people,” the president insisted, as reported by Editor-in-Chief of the Govorit Moskva radio station Roman Babayan on Telegram. “They want to cut ties with our brotherly country, Russia, they want people to pay for healthcare and education. They want our industrial facilities to be destroyed and workers to lose their jobs.”
Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya announced that her authorized representative in Minsk, Antonina Konovalova, has disappeared.
A statement published on Tikhanovskaya’s Telegram channel said that Antonina Konovalova’s “whereabouts are unknown.” Earlier in the day, key opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova was detained by authorities near the Ukrainian border. She had apparently been abducted in Minsk on Monday. Her associates Anton Rodnenkov and Ivan Kravtsov, also members of the opposition’s Coordination Council, are now in Ukraine after what their supporters say was a forced deportation.
Belarus held its presidential election on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission, incumbent Lukashenko received 80.1 percent of the vote, while Tikhanovskaya garnered 10.12 percent. She refused to recognize the election’s results, left Belarus and is currently in Lithuania. On August 14, Tikhanovskaya initiated the creation of a coordination council to ensure transfer of power. On August 20, the Belarusian Prosecutor General’s Office opened a criminal case over calls for the seizure of power.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!