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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Lukashenko tours to rally the people

by New Worker correspondent

BELARUSIAN troops have been sent to the western border to stop infiltration from Poland and the Baltic states in support of reactionary opposition attempts to overthrow the government. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been touring the country to rally the people, who overwhelmingly supported him at the last presidential election earlier in the month.

Two of the ring-leaders of the imperialist-backed protest movement have been jailed for 10 days for public order offences and the police in Minsk, the capital of the former Soviet republic, have detained another who was paying people to join anti-government rallies.

Last week NATO efforts at Ukrainian-style regime change stalled forcing the reactionary front in Belarus to change tack from calls for Lukashenko’s ouster to appeals for European Union and US ‘mediation’ to end the crisis. But Lukashenko, buoyed by the mass turn-out of his own supporters at rallies across the country, told the Americans to sort out their own problems first.

As for the French, Lukashenko said at a rally in Minsk: “If Macron wants to mediate negotiations in Belarus. Well, I’ll go to France to be the intermediary between the Yellow Vests and him.” With these words, the Belarusian leader sent the provocative proposal of the French president back to the sender.

It didn’t go down well in the Kremlin either. “The inability of our Western partners to engage in a dialogue is a rather serious fact that we have to take into account – and not only us,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a youth forum in the Moscow region last weekend.

“They are trying to redraw Belarus according to their own design and offer their mediation … of course, we will not be against any decision that the Belarusian leadership make regarding dialogue with its population,” Lavrov said.

He reminded the audience about what happened in Ukraine in 2014: “When the West says that only mediation with the participation of Western countries will be effective, everyone remembers how it was in Ukraine, where Western mediation turned into a complete inability of our partners to negotiate.”

Lavrov said external forces have been seeking to provoke bloodshed in Belarus. Belarusian activists have been inciting unrest from abroad. In trying to shift power from the president, the opposition in Belarus are attempting to emulate the Venezuelan scenario. But the situation in Belarus is stabilising, the Russian foreign minister said.

The people of Belarus will find a way out of the crisis on their own. They don’t need any mediators he added.

Meanwhile the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), which leads the opposition in the Russian parliament, has denounced Belarusian opposition calls for an “interim government” to replace Lukashenko as an attempted “coup d’état”.

“We have already seen the dire consequences of a similar coup in Ukraine. This brotherly country is now in a state of national disaster with the total defeat of industry and agriculture, the collapse of education and healthcare, rampant corruption, rampant unemployment and poverty, the flight of millions of people abroad in search of work,” the CPRF said.

The destruction of the Belarusian leadership being sought by “our opponents in the West, will immediately lead to large-scale privatisation, or rather, to an unbridled plundering of the national wealth of the country, the destruction of all achievements in the social sector, the emergence of paid education and healthcare, and millions of people will fall into poverty,” the Russian communists said.