Opposition answered to Lukashenka's threats: it's a chatter
On Friday, summing up the military exercises on territorial defense, Aleksander Lukashenka has tasked the heads of power structures and regions to prevent destabilization of the situation in the country at all costs.
"The Ministry of Internal Affairs, to suppress the activities of extremist persons. The Minister of Internal Affairs should forget how will they think of us - properly or not. It is necessary to toughly react to any actions. The main thing is to maintain order in the country, acting strictly in accordance with the law and the logic of our society", Interfax-Zapad quotes Aleksander Lukashenka.
UDF.BY correspondent asked the Belarusian opposition leaders to comment on this threats.
Viktar Ivashkevich, the co-chairman of People's Assembly:
- I would respond to this chatter as to a chatter. All these brilliant statements and play the stern generalissimo are because of Lukashenka's desperation, due to the fact, that he doesn't know how to cope with the crisis his politics led to. Dollar won't fall because of many talks and shaking finger at the opposition. The main "fifth column" has settled down in the state power. Military and intelligence agencies know this and orient better than others. They are aware, who is the main factor of instability. So, apparently, the president is afraid of repeating the fate of Ceausescu and is trying to intimidate not only the opposition but also the security forces.
Sergei Kalyakin, the chairman of the "Fair World" party:
- Most likely, it's just an irritation at powerlessness. In Lukashenka's words it's always difficult to make out what is meant. If to talk about extremism and illegal activities, then the Ministry of Interior Affairs should stop these actions in accordance with the law. If it's a case of further illegal turns of the screw and intimidation of political opponents, then one can turn, so this will overturn the thread and tear off a head. No one has managed to retain power by force for a long time yet, without people's support. On the contrary, the tougher actions were applied against opponents and the opposition, the sadder the end of these regimes was.
Vital Rymasheuski, the co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party's organizing committee:
- I think, the only purpose of Lukashenka's statements is intimidation of political opponents. I doubt, that today the Belarusian authorities have the capacity to increase repression. Recent activity rather indicates the opposite: the release of political prisoners, the attempt to establish a dialogue with the West. Such aggressive statements can be viewed as a threat addressed to the EU and the U.S. Like, if you do not give money after partial release of political prisoners, we can adopt stricter repressive measures. I'm sure, if the EU's position is firm and definite, then there won't be serious repressions.
Vintsuk Vyachorka, one of the "Belaruski Ruh" (Belarusian movement) founders:
- There is no such notion as a "fifth column" in the Belarusian legislation. What and who Lukashenka talks about is clear only to him. It's obvious that all his statements of recent days is a result of economic weakness. Lukashenka once again has confirmed with these words, that he considers the KGB and the police as political policemen, but not the defenders of motherland. I want to believe, that law enforcement agencies have thinking people, who want to ensure the safety and dignity of the population, but not personal ambitions of the president.
Lev Margolin, the deputy chairman of the United Civil Party:
- Aleksandr Lukashenka is scared. A person who feels the support of people, does not require one's employees to take specific decisions on specific individuals and not to think, what they will think of us. The only thing that calms me, is that Lukashenka's time is nearing the end. Will be repressions or not, it does not save the regime. By the way, a plenty of signals were given to enforcers. And recent bills and statements of the president. Somehow they do not hurry to act. Apparently, they still have some understanding of propriety and brains.