MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has voiced skepticism about French President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to act as a mediator in settling the situation in Belarus.
"Macron has said he wants to mediate negotiations in Belarus. Well, let me first be a mediator between the yellow vests and Macron. The situation there is, God save us, awful, with terror, and the yellow vests. He (Macron - TASS) sees nothing," Lukashenko said in a statement posted on the Pul Pervogo Telegram channel.
He also responded to US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s recent statement saying that the United States is worried over the drawbacks in the election process in Belarus and condemning violence against peaceful demonstrators. "I wish they could clean up the mess at home," he said. In his words, the West is so "worried over the situation" in Belarus as "it is a good chance to divert attention from its own problems and shift them onto another country."
The situation in Belarus was among the topics discussed by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel who had a many-hour long meeting in France. Macron called to avert escalation in Belarus and exclude the use of force there. The European Union, in his words, is interested in a democratic and al-embracing transition period in that country and in organizing fair elections there. The French leader also expressed readiness to act as a mediator, along with the OSCE.
On August 9, Belarus held its sixth presidential election since declaring independence in 1991. According to the final results of Sunday’s voting, the incumbent president, Alexander Lukashenko, won 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, scored 10.12% of votes.
Mass protests and clashes with police took place in Minsk and other Belarusian cities after exit poll results were made public. As a result, some 6,000 people were detained, dozens of law enforcers and demonstrators were injured during the first days of protests. Rallies have continued for more than a week.