The situation in Belarus was on the agenda of the second day of the meetings of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs on 2 December. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg paid attention to the developments in the country at a press conference, which was broadcast on the organization’s website.
“Both Minsk and Moscow must respect the right of the people of Belarus to determine their own future. Through an inclusive political dialogue,” said Stoltenberg.
The day before, he was asked whether the alliance sees any possibility of Russian military intervention in Belarus taking into account “the destabilisation of the Lukashenko regime due to the protests”. NATO Secretary General replied: “We support the territorial integrity and independence of Belarus. And the future of Belarus should be decided by the people of Belarus.”
“We are, of course, concerned about what we see, the crackdown on peaceful demonstrators and the lack of respect for fundamental democratic rights in Belarus. No, we should leave it to the people of Belarus to decide the future for that country. So, there should be no foreign intervention. And, of course, Russia should not intervene in democratic processes or try to suppress the will of the people in Belarus,” he said.
Alexander Lukashenko, speaking at a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Council on 2 December, said that NATO “is creating a military group to seize western Belarusian lands.” “Tell me, how should we respond to this?” Lukashenko is quoted by his press service.
While discussing the nature of the protests in Belarus, he also spoke about territorial ambitions of foreign countries to Belarus. So, according to Lukashenko, the reason for the “aggravation of the situation” in the country was “external interference”.
“The point is, I am quoting here, ‘The Belarusian lands historically belonged to Poland’. This has been stated explicitly. Can I, as president, and Belarusians agree with that? They say that the place where we live does not belong to us. It is clear to whom it belongs. And they are acting accordingly,” said Lukashenko.