Belarus President hints at new wave of repression

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Belarusian president has hinted at a new wave of repression, in another sign he is seeking to outlast a protest movement that has brought him face-to-face with former supporters calling on him to resign.

Alexander Lukashenko described an opposition plan to form a “coordination council” that would oversee a political transition in the country as “an attempt to seize power”.

Aides to the exiled opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, announced the plans on Tuesday, saying they would form a 70-person council that would include representatives of political parties and prominent cultural figures, including the Nobel prize-winning author Svetlana Alexievich. Tikhanovskaya has said she is ready to serve as a “national leader” until new elections can be arranged.

Polish – Nato Efforts

Polish President Andrzej Duda and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held talks on regional security in the context of recent developments in Belarus, the presidential aide Krzysztof Szczerski tweeted on Tuesday.

Both President Duda and Secretary General Stoltenberg agreed that Belarusians must find a way out of the current situation on their own, “without resorting to external intervention”. It was pointed out that the situation in Belarus did not have any connection with potential military activity of the Alliance, the purpose of which is “exclusively to ensure the security of the member states”. 

Ambassador Resigns

The Belarusian ambassador to Slovakia, who supported protesters rallying against his country’s president, said Tuesday he has handed in his resignation, a move indicating growing dissent at a high diplomatic level.

Igor Leshchenya said in an interview that it was “a logical move” after he recorded a video statement supporting unprecedented protests that have roiled Belarus for nine days in a row since the August 9 presidential election that gave a sixth term to longtime leader Alexander Lukashenko.

The Guardian / Euronews /PolandIn

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