President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has made another mention of some ‘external threat’ when addressing the Belarusians on the occasion of Independence Day.
“No one is able to shake the stability and independence in Belarus from outside today. Only we can decide the future of our people. This is up to us. The power and strength of the state, the inviolability of its sovereignty are determined by people – by their work, unity and devotion to the native land,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes him.
During today’s flower ceremony in Minsk, the Belarusian leader was accompanied by sons Viktar, Dzmitry and Mikalai as well as Natallya Kachanava, Chairperson of the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament, and singer Alyaksandr Saladukha.
The official Independence Day is celebrated on July 3, on the day of liberation of the Belarusian capital from German invaders. Such decision was taken on the back of the republican referendum held in 1996. Earlier the Independence day had been commemorated on July 27, its celebration being coincided with the day of passing the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1990.
In late June, the Belarusian leader slammed ‘puppeteers from Poland and Russia’ who are ‘behind spreading fakes’ about his family on the Internet, including on Telegram. According to him, there is ‘interference from outside’ in the internal affairs of Belarus and the current election race.
Earlier, he also said that ‘certain forces’ had become active, starting to ‘rock the boat’.
“But still we managed to take some steps forward and disrupt the large-scale plan of destabilising Belarus (this is not a joke or intimidation), to leading the country to a Maidan. This was the goal. Masks have been ripped off not only from the dolls, which we had here, but also from puppeteers, sitting outside Belarus,” Lukashenka stressed.
This year’s election campaign is gaining momentum: lots of Belarusians spent hours in queques to sign for the nomination of a person or persons who revealed their presidential ambitions. Indeed, the people’s active involvement is indicative of their fatigue with the 26-year rule of Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
Meanwhile, he is apparently not going to leave the post. When talking to KGB Chairman Valery Vakulchyk in the wake of pre-election pickets, he warned all the ‘maidan-stricken’ that there will be no maidans in Belarus. He also urged law enforcers to prevent ‘various criminal gangs from wandering around the country with rolled up sleeves’. Later, the head of state called on siloviki to ensure ‘total order’ in Minsk.
The 2020 presidential election is scheduled for August, 9. In the course of this year’s election campaign, many Belarusian citizens, including presidential hopefuls, journalists and politicians, are being subjected to the unprecedented pressure from the authorities.