If the West continues to pursue a policy of escalating tensions, Minsk reserves the right to take additional security measures, TASS reports with reference to the press service of the republic’s defense ministry.
“It has been reported that if the Western countries continue the policy of escalating tensions, the Republic of Belarus reserves the right to take a number of additional steps in the field of national security in 2021,” the ultimatum statement says.
The aforementioned statement was published after a briefing by Major General Oleg Voinov, Head of the Department of International Military Cooperation of the Defense Ministry. The event was attended by military attaches accredited with the defense department.
Earlier, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell expressed concern about the intensification of repressive measures against human rights defenders and the opposition in Belarus. He urged supporters to discuss a possible response from Brussels.
In the past, the European Union has repeatedly criticized Minsk for the situation with protests and the use of violence against its own citizens. For example, on October 2 last year, the EU countries imposed sanctions against 40 Belarusian officials, and on November 6 – against the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko.
Protest actions began in the republic after the presidential elections, which took place on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission, Lukashenko won 80.23 percent of the vote. The rallies were suppressed with the use of tear gas, stun grenades, and smoke bombs. Citizens complained of violence from the security forces.
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