Belarus President urges law enforcement not to respond to provocationsMINSK, 15 December (BelTA) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has urged law enforcement agencies not to respond to provocations and to provide for the safety of Belarusian citizens during the election period, BelTA has learnt from the presidential press service. Today the president held a meeting that focused on the ongoing election campaign and matters of public security during this period.
“Naturally, they (the opposition) are always shouting ‘Square, square, square!’ I would like to say it once again: We have warned parents, we have warned instructors of higher education institutions, technical schools, colleges, lyceums, schools; we have warned them about possible provocations on that day, including in places of mass gatherings. We have warned everyone. There is the law. One must not, under any circumstances, respond to provocations, because they (the opposition) need a picture, just a picture claiming that the authorities are undemocratic, that Lukashenko ‘has once again come to power on the bones and the blood’. They need it. As for us, we must not expose ourselves,” said the president. “We understand it very clearly. We must not get exposed, whatever the circumstances. One should act in accordance with the situation. But what is the most important thing is Heaven forbid any provocation should take place, and Heaven forbid anything should happen to people. We must protect people. It is the responsibility of the law enforcement agencies, and nobody will be pardoned in such a case. Heaven forbid anyone crosses that Rubicon that must not be approached at all. Anatoly Nilovich (Interior Minister Anatoly Kuleshov – note by BelTA), the reaction of the law enforcement agencies, and the military too, should be adequate and strong. Go in peace (the demonstrators) to the places where you have been allowed to go, places that have been allocated for this. You are welcome to go there, talk, hold meetings. But if we are speaking about a violation of the law, the reaction must be adequate.”
The President instructed the State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus Leonid Maltsev to coordinate law enforcement activities. “We do not need fuss or excessive bodily movements. You know perfectly well that if these ‘masters’ (the opposition) were capable of anything, they would not act like this. They are just trying to provoke us. We are fully aware of this. They will not be able to encourage people to take to the streets. People do not need any protest rallies. Everybody understands that they will put kids and teenagers to the forefront while the organizers will hide behind their backs or even run away, as it has always been the case. Even the teenagers are well aware of this,” said Alexander Lukashenko.
Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA) is Belarus' biggest news agency providing the latest news about politics, economy, sports, culture and everyday life in Belarus. BelTA's reporters operate in Belarus, Moscow, Kyiv, Chisinau, Warsaw, Vilnius, Caracas.
Among other things BelTA products include the weekly 7 Dnei (7 Days), which circulation approaches 40,000 copies, and Economy of Belarus Magazine, a quarterly in Russian and English, with the audience of 6,500 readers. Moreover, BelTA publishes books, brochures, posters, booklets and other promotional materials. BelTA promotes, designs and provides technological and informational support for webpages of government agencies, Belarusian enterprises and organizations.
Aleksei Fomich, Deputy Editor of the Translations Department (English), Central Release Office, Belarusian Telegraph Agency BelTA
26 Kirova Street, Minsk, 220030, Belarus
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