Updated at 18:07,08-09-2017

Minsk fulfilled all of Wests wishes ahead of election, Lukashenka says

Tanya Korovenkova, Naviny.by

The Belarusian authorities have fulfilled all of the Wests wishes ahead of the October 6-11 presidential election, Alyaksandr Lukashenka told reporters after casting his ballot at a polling station in Minsk.

Asked whether Belarus relations with the West could improve after the election, Mr. Lukashenka said, These elections may become an improvement only if the West wants that. If the West has an intention [to improve relations] no one and nothing can prevent that from happening.

He said that the ball was now in the court of the West and the European Union in particular.

Mr. Lukashenka also said that he was unaware of the existence of universal democratic election standards. I would like to be familiarized with the standards that we should observe. We have conducted elections in line with our constitution and our laws that have been recognized by everyone, he said. He shrugged off complaints about Belarus five-day early voting period. The stronghold of democracy, the United States, conducts early voting months before the voting day, he said.

Belarus has repeatedly called for developing universal standards for conducting and assessing elections, including within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, according to Mr. Lukashenka. Lets devise these standards and if we accept and sign up for them we will observe them sacredly, he said.