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No alternative to Russia for Belarus politically or economically, says Lukashenko

He also mentioned "military issues"

MOSCOW, November 13./TASS/. There is no alternative to Russia for Belarus both economically and politically, President Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview with media of some former Soviet republics, excerpts from which were shown by Russian Channel One television on Friday.

"If we take the economy, military issues or political, diplomacy and so on, there is no alternative to Russia," the president stressed.

"Wherever one looks, things will be very difficult for us without Russia," he emphasized. When asked about Russia’s role in the multi-vector politics of Belarus in percentage terms, he estimated it at about 80%.

Belarus held presidential elections on August 9. 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, but they have been continuing for more than 3 months now.