The Belarusian ruler Lukashenko announced that the borders with Poland and Lithuania will be closed. The two countries would prepare for war.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has announced that the borders with Poland and Lithuania will be closed. The two EU countries are about to start a war, said Lukashenko, according to the state news agency Belta on Thursday. “That is why we are forced to withdraw the army from the streets, put half of the army in combat readiness and close the borders to the west, especially to Lithuania and Poland,” he said.
Since the controversial presidential election in Belarus on August 9th, Lukashenko, who has ruled authoritarian for 26 years, has been confronted with mass protests. Hundreds of thousands of people regularly take to the streets against the president, accusing him of election fraud and calling for new elections. The security forces in the country crack down on the demonstrators with great severity.
Lukashenko has accused NATO of concentrating troops in Poland and Lithuania along the border with Belarus. Warsaw, Vilnius and NATO rejected his allegations as unfounded.
The European Parliament spoke out on Thursday in favor of direct sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko. The parliamentarians in Brussels passed a motion for a resolution on this. The punitive measures are intended to target those responsible for fraudulent elections and the suppression of peaceful protests.
The EU is currently preparing sanctions. But it was unclear whether Lukashenko would also be on this list. At the same time, the EU parliamentarians indirectly recognized the opposition Svetlana Tichanovskaya as the temporary representative of Belarus.