- Macron called for an end to repression and a peaceful transition of power.
- Macron said he had been “impressed by the courage of the protesters”.
- Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei accused Western nations of being behind the “chaos and anarchy” in the former Soviet republic.
French President Emmanuel Macron irked by the on goings in Belarus notably the brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators by the Lukashenko led administration, President Macron has ramped up the pressure on the embattled Belarus president by insisting that Alexander Lukashenko must vacate office, saying Lukashenko “must go”.
In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, a French weekly published on Sunday, Macron called for an end to repression and a peaceful transition of power.
“It is a crisis of power, an authoritarian power that cannot accept the logic of democracy and which is hanging on by force. It is clear that Lukashenko has to go,” Macron said.
President Macron’s sentiments come after the Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei accused Western nations of being behind the “chaos and anarchy” in the former Soviet republic.
“We are seeing attempts to destabilise the situation in the country,” he said while addressing the United Nations General Assembly via video conference.
“Interference in our internal affairs, sanctions and other restrictions on Belarus will have the opposite effect, and are harmful for absolutely everyone.” He reiterated.
Protests have been ongoing in Belarus since the country’s August 9 elections which Lukashenko claims he warn with the opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya also insisting that she won. The west supports the opposition and says Lukashenko rigged the elections.
The embattled Lukashenko in a desperate attempt to clinch to power has since been brutalizing the opposition peaceful demonstrators with arrests and tortures but the Belarusians seem determined to dethrone him as the protests are still ongoing despite the brutality by the authorities.
The embattled Lukashenko’s recent move to swear himself in triggered a new wave of demonstrations and fresh Western criticism.
Macron’s Take On Protesters
Macron On Sunday said he had been “impressed by the courage of the protesters”.
“They know the risks they are taking by demonstrating every weekend, and yet, they are pushing forward with the movement to make democracy come alive in this country that has been deprived of it for so long,” he said.
“Women in particular, who march every Saturday, command our respect,” he added.
More than 90 people – most of them women – were arrested on Saturday at the ongoing opposition demonstrations in Belarus.
The EU on Thursday said Lukashenko’s inauguration lacked “democratic legitimacy” and refused to recognize him as president.
EU ministers decided in principle last month to impose sanctions against the government, but Cyprus has become an obstacle to their approval insisting that the bloc has got to apply the very measures against Turkey which is accused of gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.
The issue is scheduled to be debated during an EU summit to be held on October 1-2 in Brussels.
Women, Journalists Arrested.
During Saturday’s protests, Riot police wearing black hoods were deployed in the streets of Minsk and arrested peaceful demonstrators. At least 95 people, mostly women were arrested in the capital Minsk and other towns including Brest (in the south-west), human rights group Viasna said Journalists covering the demonstrations weren’t spared either but were also arrested.
Another opposition demonstration is scheduled for Sunday in Minsk.