Belarus opposition has condemned Russia’s support of President Alexander Lukashenko following the Kremlin's approval of a $1.5 billion loan to the country's authoritarian government on Tuesday, September 15.
As per reports, the opposition and protestors have alleged that Russia is trying to shore up the nation's authoritarian ruler amid mass post-election protests on the streets of Minsk. However, Russia has maintained that the loan has no political motive.
Speaking about the loan, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “Like any loan, it has commercial conditions but there was no talk about any other conditions”. Turmoil in Belarus began on August 9 after protestors refused to accept the results of the presidential election which declared Lukashenko's return to power. Belarusian opposition suspects the elections were rigged.
Since then, the United States as well and the European Union nations have maintained that the elections were not fair nor free. Thus world leaders have urged Lukashenko to enter into negotiations with the protestors so as to reach a diplomatic solution but the Belarusian President has rejected the suggestion.
With regard to the recent loan, Lukashenko has stated that the Kremlin has acted “very decently and humanly”. He went on to thank all the Russians who had extended support to the Lukashenko government after the election results.
Lukashenko’s main rival, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya fled the country on August 11 to Lithuania, from where she has been issuing video messages for the people of Belarus. Svetlana has also urged the United Nations to interfere and halt the crackdown and impose sanctions on everyone close to Lukashenko.
The international community has condemned the action by Belarusian authorities and demanded peoples' human rights be respected. Belarus protests have now entered their sixth week, and September 13 saw as many as 100,000 protestors taking to the streets and marching through Minsk demanding Lukashenko's resignation.
(Image Credit AP)