A pre-term voting started yesterday in Belarus to elect the republic
of Belarus's president (the voting is due to last for 5 days, September
4th-8th). Voting stations have opened all over Belarus and also in
foreign countries. Public opinion survey results and also election results’
forecasts may not be published for the time of the elections.
There are 3 candidates: the incumbent Aleksandr Lukashenko, leader
of the Liberal Democratic Party Sergei Gaidukevich, and Belarus’s trade
union (linked with USA) leader Vladimir Goncharik.
Mr. Lukashenko met yesterday with his supporters in the Palace of
the Republic. In all, some 2,500 gathered there - they asked his
candidate all kinds of questions. Mr. Lukashenko, in turn, blasted OSCE
supervisors and the US ambassador to Belarus.
According to Mr. Lukashenko, OSCE representative Hans Jorg Wick will have to leave Minsk, Belarus’s
capital, after the elections. The same implied to US Ambassador Michael Kosak
(who earlier compiled US State Secretary Colin Powell’s address on the
occasion of 10th anniversary of Belarus’s independece where the republic was
referred to as the "only rogue in Europe.").
Mr. Lukashenko thanked Belarus’s intelligence for retrieving this address from the American
embassy and laying it on the president’s table 10 days ahead of its
An unprecedented information-and-psychological war has been
undertaken against Belarus on the even of this election, Mr. Lukashenko
According to him, foreign secret services are carrying out a special
operation called "White Stork" aimed at removing Mr. Lukashenko and
replacing him by a pro-Western president with a subsequent change in
the country’s political system. But "no Yugoslav scenarios will
materialize,"and the Belarussian people will not allow Americans to dictate them
how to live.
At that, Mr. Lukashnko adduced some evidence of foreign funds
participating Mr. Goncharic’s election campaign. Mr. Lukashenko went
on to say that economic issues have been and will be his priority, and in
case he is re-elected, "evolutionary reforms will be continued in
"A spokesman for the US Embassy in Minsk told The Times that the
embassy helped to fund 300 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including
non-state media, but did not fund political parties, since that is
banned by law. He admitted that some of the NGOs were linked to those who
were 'seeking political change.'
"[Ambassador Kozak wrote to a British newspaper that] America's
'objective and to some degree methodology are the same' in Belarus as in
Nicaragua, where the US backed the Contras against the left-wing Sandinista
Government in a war that claimed at least 30,000 lives." [From article
in "The Times" (UK), 3 September 2001.]
(Pravda.ru - 2001/09/05, The Times - 2001/09/03)
In April 1996, President Lukashenko asked a number of foreign diplomats to leave the Belarusian capital following their attendance at opposition rallies.
Later that year, he accused the ambassadors of Nato countries of "plotting" against him.
He said a meeting of eight ambassadors in the British Embassy in Minsk had proposed a number of "anti-presidential" moves designed to undermine him in the run-up to a controversial referendum on presidential powers.
"This is our country," Lukashenko said at the time. "This is our state. This is our homeland. We have our own leadership, and we ourselves shall determine and resolve the fate of our people."
The following are a selection of recent remarks made by President Lukashenko on Belarus' relations with the West and NATO.
"Western countries should not be telling Belarus what to do. We are not some brainless people to be caught by the collar and taught what to do.
"We are young people. We are capable of learning. We take all the good things you have, but don't push us ... We don't need to be told when we should hold parliamentary or presidential elections."
"In this connection, since I am talking about our foreign policy and mentioned the West, I want to say especially to Western diplomats: please stop these meetings and coordination of activity against the authorities of Belarus.
"You do not need to be the conduit of opposition ideas. Don't be. We are always ready to reach agreement with you, foreign representatives, but only on the basis of certain principles characteristic of Western diplomacy and democracy.
"You wanted us to be sovereign and independent. We will be a sovereign and independent state.
"But you wanted us to be sovereign and independent of our big eastern neighbour, with which we have always lived together - to us it is a fraternal nation.
"But excuse me, we are sovereign and independent of the West. We cannot have our policy dictated to us. And Western states must understand that... Belarus seeks cooperation with the West."
(President Lukashenko in his annual message to parliament, broadcast by Belarusian radio on April 17, 1998 )
'West fears re-integration of former socialist states'
"The West itself is pursuing integration - the European Union, the European parliament and the OSCE.
"Clinton proposes to America and Latin America, let's come together for the sake of free trade.
"We want the same with the Russian Federations and other CIS republics. But they (Western countries) are afraid of something else.
"Above all, they are afraid that we will revive our integration, the entire huge Eurasian market of the former socialist European states, leaving less room for the Americans and Westerners in this market. This is one of their greatest fears.
(Lukashenko on Belarusian radio, November 5, 1997)
"As I've always said, even before Russia did, there is no need today for Nato to expand eastwards and it's an attempt by the West to enshrine its victory in the Cold War.
"I put it in stronger terms. And how are they going to view me in the West after this? As a dictator, of course! As an authoritarian leader, of course, and so on and so forth."
(Lukashenko in an interview with Ostankino Radio Mayak, Moscow, September 6, 1997)
"We are sick and tired of schemes. Belarus is a sovereign and independent state, and it will not have foreign representatives behave worse on its territory than at home."
Lukashenko criticizing EU ambassadors to Belarus after they issued a statement expressing concern at the political situation in Belarus in the run-up to a controversial referendum on presidential powers in 1996.
he said in March of 1998, shortly after the American director of the Soros Foundation was expelled from Belarus, allegedly for using funds to finance the Belarusian opposition.