MOSCOW, September 2. /TASS/. Current developments in Belarus have set the country’s relations with some European states back by many years, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said at a joint press conference with Russian top diplomat Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday.
"Long before the election, when we met with our European partners and discussed the possible scenarios, we agreed that street protests and violent demonstrations would set our relations back by many years. Unfortunately, this is what happened. Everyone agreed back then that we should not let it happen," Makei pointed out.
The Belarusian foreign minister stressed that Minsk had reached an understanding with its European partners that "any election, even a bad one, will move the country forward." "Unfortunately, we have to deal with what’s happened and our partners are now calling for some peaceful and quiet revolutions, while in fact, any revolution eventually leads to bloodshed," Makei said.
Belarus held its presidential election on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission’s data, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko received 80.1% of the vote, while Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, his main rival, garnered 10.12%. Tikhanovskaya refused to recognize the election results and left for Lithuania. 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. The opposition’s Coordination Council keeps calling on the country’s people to carry on with protests, while the authorities are emphasizing the need to put an end to unauthorized activities.