MINSK, December 8. /TASS/. Belarusian opposition activists who have been protesting against closer integration with Russia have handed over a resolution of protest to the Russian embassy and are heading back to Oktyabrskaya Square in downtown Minsk, a TASS correspondent reported from the scene on Sunday.
The protesters plan to continue their rally on Oktyabrskaya Square, which started at noon. Several hundred opposition activists gather on the square on Sunday holding nationalist white-red-white flags. The rally adopted a resolution protesting against the Russian-Belarusian integration roadmaps and the protesters headed to the Russian embassy.
Police beef up security outside Russian embassy
Law enforcement agencies have beefed up security outside the Russian Embassy in Minsk as Belarusian opposition activists have come there to protest against deepening integration between Belarus and Russia.
A TASS correspondent reports that police officers have been deployed to protect the building and the entrance has been cordoned off. Several hundred opposition activists are holding nationalist white-red-white flags, chanting "Live Belarus" and "Independence."
Sunday is the second day of opposition rallies in Minsk protesting against the authorities’ policies. Activists claim that closer integration with Russia could entail negative consequences for Belarus.
In his address to the Belarusian lawmakers, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko vowed that be country’s authorities would never cede the country’s independence and sovereignty. He stressed that Belarus would never be part of any state, even "brotherly Russia."
December 8 marks the 20th anniversary of the Russian-Belarusian Union State Treaty that was signed by the two countries’ presidents. The document came into force following the exchange of ratification papers on December 26, 2000. Currently, the countries are agreeing 31 roadmaps on closer integration, with 20 of them being ready for signing.
On December 7, the two countries president, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, held hours-long talks on integration-related problems in Russia’s Balck Sea resort city of Sochi. They agree to continue dialogue on December 20.