Saturday, 27 February, 2021


Belarus retaliates against Baltic sanctions

Students protest in Minsk Svetlana Tikhanovskaya: Belarus opposition leader 'to address UN Security Council'
Bennie Garza | 05 September, 2020, 07:59

Belarusians have turned out in en masse for nearly four weeks, in unprecedented protests against the official election results that gave Lukashenko a sixth term with 80% of the vote.

In the months leading up to the election, and escalating afterward, Lukashenko's government cracked down on street protests, using excessive force on demonstrators.

Belarus on Wednesday slapped reciprocal sanctions on individuals from the three Baltic States - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in response to similar measures from these countries following protests against the reelection of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Lukashenko has accused foreign powers of being behind the protests, but has provided no evidence. Thousands were arrested and many reported being tortured in custody.

On Thursday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, during a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, was to inform him that Belarus had deployed half of its army on the border of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries, Lithuania and Poland.

The election results have been widely viewed as rigged in Lukashenko's favor and have been rejected by the European Union and the United States, among others.

Mikhail Mishustin visited the Belarusian capital of Minsk on Thursday.

"I want to make it very clear, collaboration with the regime of Mr. Lukashenko at the moment means the support for violence and blatant violation of human rights", she said.

"Attempts to internationalize the situation in Belarus can only aggravate things", said Dmitry Polyanskiy, the deputy United Nations envoy of Russian Federation, which sees Belarus as a vital strategic buffer between itself and and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Valentin Rybakov, then-Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs for Belarus, speaks during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 26, 2016.

During the first few days, police detained almost 7,000 people and beat hundreds, drawing worldwide outrage and causing anti-government demonstrations to swell.

In addition to urging the global community to use "all mechanisms" including sanctions to stop the violence, Tsikhanouskaya called for a special session of the U.N. Human Rights Council to discuss rights violations in Belarus and urged the U.N.to immediately send an "international monitoring mission" to the country to document the situation on the ground.

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