MINSK, August 21. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko accused the US and Europe of organizing the protests in his country, BelTA news agency informed on Friday.
"The US is planning and directing it, and the Europeans are playing along," he said, adding that "a special center" has been established near Warsaw. "You know, when there is unrest nearby and tanks and planes begin to move, this is no coincidence," the president pointed out.
He noted that Western states are trying to play the Belarusian card against Russia, calling Belarus "the only remaining link" in the "Baltic-Black Sea corridor," which includes three Baltic states, Ukraine and Belarus.
Belarus held a presidential election on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko received 80.1% of the vote, while his main rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya garnered 10.12%. Protests erupted in the country's capital of Minsk and several other cities following the presidential vote, leading to clashes between protesters and law enforcement officers. Several thousand people have been detained, and dozens of law enforcement officers and protesters have been injured.
Tikhanovskaya did not recognize the results of the election. She left Belarus for Lithuania and established the Coordination Council for the transition of power in Belarus.
On August 19, an emergency EU summit on Belarus was held. Leaders of 27 EU states, as well as heads of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council approved a statement on the outcomes of the summit, which says that the EU does not recognize the results of the Belarusian presidential election, calls for a stop to police violence and for a transparent investigation of police violations. The EU plans to introduce sanctions against several Belarusian officials in the near future.
The US also stated that the Belarusian election was not in line with the standards of free democratic elections reflecting the will of the people, calling on the Belarusian government to actively cooperate with the Coordination Council established by the opposition.