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Lukashenko claims has no intention to flee Belarus

Lukashenko promises to mobilize all forces to protect Belarus
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko Nikolai Petrov/BelTA Pool Photo via AP
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko
© Nikolai Petrov/BelTA Pool Photo via AP

MINSK, October 30. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has no intention to flee from the country under the pressure of the opposition, he said during his meeting with the employees of the Ministry of the Interior Friday.

"If someone thinks that I am about to pack and leave… Look, there have been situations when someone probably shivered. But here are generals who talk to me all the time and they saw that not one hair on my head has moved. Look, we had worse times, when cars burned on the streets, anarchists and scum from all over the world were coming [to Belarus] in mid-1990s, there’s footage. They sought to storm the House of the Government, set up tents on the October Square. I still remember that. We’ve endured all that," Lukashenko said, according to BelTA.

Lukashenko warned that in order to protect the country all existing means will be mobilized including law enforcement agencies and the military.

"I want not only the members of law enforcement present today but the military also to understand that the war is not the war that used to be, that it began with the external aggression. Any war will begin from the inside. It was being prepared in our country anyway. So everyone should understand that we will mobilize everything we have in order to protect our country, our land and our families, our children. I would like you to understand this," the BelTA news agency quoted him as saying at a meeting with the staff of the Interior Ministry.

The president called the situation on the western border of Belarus restive. "It is restive here in the west. What [US Secretary of State] Michael Pompeo told me, that’s good, I noted that," he said. Earlier, the American diplomat assured Lukashenko that there is no threat to Belarus coming from NATO.

However, the president stated that NATO troops are on the move and restless causing him to deploy some of Belarusian military near the western border. "They [the NATO forces - TASS] calmed down, they understood we were not kidding," the Belarusian president said.

Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.