Alexander Lukashenko sworn in as Belarus president despite disputed election
The European Union does not recognize the secret &# 171; inauguration&# 187; Lukashenka&# 160;
In Russia, a Kremlin spokesman said he did not know about the events held in Minsk&# 160;
KIEV – Against the backdrop of ongoing protests against the recognition of the results of the Belarusian presidential elections on August 9, 2020, the inauguration ceremony of Alexander Lukashenko was held in Minsk on September 23. Official representatives of a number of European states did not recognize the legitimacy of the ceremony of swearing in President Alexander Lukashenko.
Charter97.org website (Charter’97) provides an up-to-date list of countries that have made statements.
Estonia. Lukashenko’s inauguration is illegitimate and contrary to democratic principles. This opinion was expressed by the head of the Estonian Foreign Ministry Urmas Reinsalu.
Denmark. “Lukashenka has confirmed his own illegitimacy by arranging a secret inauguration. Fraudulent elections should lead Lukashenka not to the presidential palace, but to the EU sanctions list, ”said Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod.
Czech Republic. “The elections in Belarus were neither free nor fair. Thus, the result is illegitimate, therefore today’s inauguration of Lukashenka is also illegitimate, “said Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petřicek..
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius called Lukashenka’s “inauguration” ceremony a farce.
“What a farce,” Linas Linkevičius tweeted. – Fake elections. Fake inauguration. The former president of Belarus is not becoming less the former. Its illegitimacy is a fact with all the ensuing consequences, ”added the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, reports Charter’97.
According to the Belarusian service of Radio Liberty, Poland does not consider Alyaksandr Lukashenka as a legitimate president, while in Slovakia, Foreign Minister Ivan Korchak said that “Alyaksandr Lukashenka has no legitimacy to rule the country”.
Germany does not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as President of Belarus even after his inauguration. This was stated by the official representative of the government Steffen Seibert, Deutsche Welle reports..
On the day of the secret “inauguration”, the leading Belarusian Telegram channels called on Belarusians to come out to the central streets of their cities with protests.
Russia: unexpected inauguration
The press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov did not know that the inauguration of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko would take place today, according to the website of Moskovsky Komsomolets.
A Kremlin spokesman said he could not comment on how timely and appropriate it was to hold the inauguration ceremony today. “This is a sovereign internal decision of the Belarusian leadership. Since such a decision has been made, it means it was considered expedient, “he said..
Russian political analysts have come to the conclusion that the “quiet” and unexpected inauguration of Alexander Lukashenko means his actual recognition of the high level of risks of protest activity, Interfax reports..
Political strategist Gleb Pavlovsky believes that Lukashenka has demonstrated to the Belarusian society the lack of confidence in himself as the head of state.
“By this strange inauguration of his, the format of which was unexpected even for his supporters, Lukashenka showed that there are two centers of influence in the country – the authorities and the protesters, and that a significant part of the population of the Belarusian capital does not perceive him as a president. Probably, it is difficult to imagine a more vivid demonstration of the authorities’ lack of confidence in themselves than a secret inauguration. This contradicts the very nature of this kind of ceremony, “he told Interfax..
Ukraine: consultation on “inauguration”
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry will hold urgent meetings and consultations to outline Ukraine’s position on the “inauguration and political status of Alexander Lukashenko.” This was stated by the head of the country’s Foreign Ministry Dmitry Kuleba, according to the National News Agency “Ukrinform”.
“The inauguration was secret. So that you understand, not a single foreign ambassador was invited, not even the ambassador of the union state of the Russian Federation, which fully supports Lukashenka. Therefore, on the assessment of the inauguration and political status of Lukashenka, we will hold urgent meetings and consultations to determine our position, “Kuleba said..
In an interview with the Slovak economic publication Hospodárske noviny, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that the crisis in Belarus affects not only its neighboring countries..
“Events there are already having consequences for Europe. We see that the biggest political crisis for all the years of Belarus’ independence has arisen. It is also associated with economic and social crises that are already ripe and showing consequences. If the scenario is negative, it will mean at least hundreds of thousands of refugees from Belarus to European countries, ”said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
He noted, it is emphasized on the website of the President of Ukraine on September 23, that an honest presidential election is the best way out of this crisis “.
“If the candidates are confident in their victory, then there is nothing to be afraid of another election. These are the actions of the authorities, which are not afraid of their people. I also note that there should be a dialogue with society, violence should be avoided. These are the actions of the government, which cares about its people, “- said the President of Ukraine.
The status has not changed – the president is illegitimate
According to the co-chairman of the Razam solidarity movement Alena Tolstoy, that regardless of his status, Alexander Lukashenko remains the illegitimate, unrecognized leader of the republic.
“And earlier it was clear that in the eyes of the whole world and Belarusians he was illegitimate, but after today’s event he will continue to purge Belarus from all active people and all those who resist. We already see that now, as people are sifted through a fine sieve, recently at least three hundred people have been detained, even disabled people have been twisted. Criminal cases have been opened against 85 of them, and others are giving subscriptions that if they are detained on the street again, criminal cases will be opened against them, ”Alena Tolstaya told the Voice of America correspondent.
According to her, since the beginning of the protests in Belarus, at least twelve thousand citizens who disagree with the results of the presidential campaign have been arrested..
“All of them have gone through various kinds of repression by the Lukashenka regime. The state mechanism in the country is created in such a way as to control the actions of people. This means that not only law enforcement agencies monitor the actions of citizens, but starting from kindergarten, people are under control everywhere, and in case of disloyalty to Lukashenka, they can take the child away, there may be a loss of school, work, ”emphasizes Alena Tolstaya.
She believes that Lukashenka will not sit down at the negotiating table with the opposition, and the Western countries have one way out of the situation – to apply economic sanctions to Russia and the Lukashenka regime..
“For Russia, which keeps Lukashenka afloat, the sanctions would be very painful,” says the Belarusian oppositionist.
According to her, Lukashenka will not be able to stop popular protests in Belarus and abroad, despite the fact that he is ready for forceful methods of fighting the citizens of the republic..
The regime is costly, but the Kremlin has no other candidates
Taras Zagorodny, Managing Partner of the National Anti-Crisis Group, believes that Russia is ready to leave Alexander Lukashenko in power, but requires him to carry out constitutional reform.
“Yes, his regime is a little costly for Russia, but the Kremlin has no one to supply but Lukashenka. Therefore, we decided to go the other way – to carry out a constitutional reform, which will allow the formation of pro-Russian parties in the republic to influence Lukashenka, ”Taras Zagorodny says to the correspondent of the Russian service“ Voice of America ”.
According to him, Alexander Lukashenko will respond to a new wave of protests by the Belarusian opposition after the secret inauguration by “pulling out the opposition leaders”, as the Russian authorities do in Khabarovsk..
“In order for the protests to give their results, the opposition’s actions need to be radicalized. We see that during peaceful protests Lukashenka squeezes the opposition and does not give it an opportunity to develop its actions. The authorities have resources and they can play long, protests do not bother them too much, ”Taras Zagorodny believes..
The political strategist says that for a quarter of a century, at the head of state, Alexander Lukashenko felt himself the master of the country, and is not ready to voluntarily hand over power, since he does not trust anyone.