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Lukashenko Blames Recent Protests On Fifth Column Who Want To ‘Overthrow President’

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko explained the reasons behind the recent activities of political opposition and the ‘fifth column’. He said the ‘provocateurs’ are supported from the outside and attempt to overthrow the existing power.

The head of state made the statement during the visit to Kronospan Company in Mogilev on 21 March.

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According to Alexander Lukashenko, the main ‘dream’ of the so-called ‘fifth column’ is to overthow the existing authorities and the president. “Why? Because the president doesn’t allow them to tear the country apart, steal factories, introduce private land ownership,” the Belarusian leader said.

Speaking about a recent upsurge of activity of the opposition structures in Belarus, Lukashenko noted that it happened after his meeting with the editor-in-chief of the opposition newspaper Narodnaya Volya who suggested the president should start talks with the opposition to discuss some burning issues.

Alexander Lukashenko did not decline the idea, but his principle position is these should be the representatives of ‘patriotic opposition’. “I will no talk to provocateurs”, the head of state said.

Alexander Lukashenko also remarked that western organizations that finance the Belarusian opposition are ready to give money primarily to organize riots in the country. “They need fights and bloodshed,” the president believes.

He made a similar statement the day before during the meeting on the preparations for Belarus-Russia joint strategic army exercise West 2017.

In particular, Lukashenko said that attempts had been made to aggravate the situation in Belarus.

“I mean the attempts of our ‘fifth column’ with the financial assistance of western funds and with the guidance of western intelligence services to encourage our roughnecks, who have run away from the country abroad, to destabilise the situation in Belarus,” the president said adding that his words are not a threat.

Street protests against Decree No3, termed the law against ‘social parasites’, have been taking place across Belarus since February. Marches of Belarusians who call themselves ‘non-parasites’ were organized in Minsk, Brest, Grodno and other cities and towns.

‘Parasite Tax’ march in Minsk from above

The latest protest in Minsk ended with mass detentions.

Following the protests, Alexander Lukashenko announced that the tax, imposed by the decree on jobless citizens who do not register with the country’s labor bureaus and work less than 183 days per year will be suspended for 2017. He also ordered the authorities to update the lists of those who are supposed to pay it by 1 October.

The EU and international organizations have denounced the detentions and called on the authorities to release all prisoners.


Photo: BelTA, press service of the President of Belarus

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