Belarus president closes western-borders
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, beleaguered by six weeks of mass protests
demanding his resignation, on Thursday announced he was putting troops on high alert and
closing the country’s borders with Poland and Lithuania.
Belarus president closes western-borders, President Alexander Lukashenko’s decision on Thursday
underlined his repeated claim that the wave of protests is driven by the West.
He faces increasing criticism from the United States and the European Union.
Protests began after the disputed August 9 presidential election.
Official results gave the authoritarian leader a sixth term in office but opponents say the results
“We are forced to withdraw troops from the streets, put the army on high alert and close the state border
on the west, primarily with Lithuania and Poland,” Lukashenko said at a women’s forum.
Lukashenko also said Belarus’s border with Ukraine would be strengthened.
“I don’t want my country to be at war. Moreover, I don’t want Belarus and Poland, Lithuania to turn into a
theatre of military operations where our issues will not be resolved,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, the main opposition candidate in the disputed presidential election said that activists
are compiling a list of law enforcement officers who were allegedly involved in violence against
protesters denouncing the results of the vote.
Nearly 7,000 people were detained and hundreds were brutally beaten by police during the first several days
of post-election protests.
Mr Lukashenko’s main challenger in the election, former English teacher and political novice Sviatlana
Tsikhanouskaya, said “we have been given the names of those who were beating and torturing people.