International community calls for restraint in Belarus


The international community has called for peace and restraint in Belarus, as President Alexander Lukashenko urged western powers to focus on their own problems.

Lukashenko said Wednesday that western leaders should focus on their own problems rather than the political situation in Belarus, state news agency BelTA reported.

“They are having a great deal of problems at home. Do not point at Belarus in order to draw attention away from the issues in France, the United States, Germany and so on,” Lukashenko said at a meeting of his national security council via video link.

China believes that Belarus can maintain political stability and social tranquility through its own efforts, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Wednesday at a press briefing.

China has always respected the development path chosen by the Belarusian people and their efforts to safeguard national independence, sovereignty, security and development, Zhao said.

China is aware that the domestic situation in Belarus has become complicated, Zhao said, adding that “as good friends and partners, we do not hope that the situation in Belarus will escalate into chaos and oppose external forces triggering division and disturbances in Belarusian society.”

Moscow is worried about attempts to use the internal difficulties that Belarus and its leadership are facing to impose limitations on its citizens that external actors would then pounce on, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with television channel Russia 1 on Wednesday.

“Nobody hides that it is all about geopolitics, about the struggle for the post-Soviet space,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov said he hopes that Belarusians will be able to sort out their own affairs themselves and not be led by “those who need this country solely in order to master the geopolitical space in order to promote the well-known destructive logic: You are either with Russia or with Europe.”

“I see no lack of readiness on the part of the authorities for dialogue. I hope that the same readiness will be shown by those who, for one reason or another, are not satisfied with the election results,” Lavrov said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for restraint and calm in Belarus as the country is enveloped in mass demonstrations, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Guterres calls on Belarusians to address post-election grievances through dialogue to preserve peace in the country, it said.

Belarus is engulfed in mass protests after incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term during the Aug. 9 elections, with the opposition refusing to recognize the results.

The European Union will impose shortly sanctions on “a substantial number of individuals responsible for violence, repression, and election fraud,” European Council President Charles Michel said Wednesday after convening the leaders of the 27 EU member states.

The EU chief said the pan-Europe body does not recognize the election results announced by the Belarusian authorities.

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