Lukashenko Stated He "Will Not Run" from the Country and Is Ready to Defend Himself

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President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said he would not "run anywhere" from the country, unlike Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who left Ukraine in 2014. In an interview with Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon, which aired on Thursday, three days before the presidential elections in Belarus, Lukashenko said that in the event of armed aggression against his country, he would give the order to fire. Lukashenka also said that he was not ready to imagine shooting in the streets of Minsk - both protesters or from their side. But if this happens, the President of Belarus promised to act tough. Lukashenko reiterated the accusations against Russia interfering in the elections. He said that the Belarusian leadership knows who in Russia "gave orders" to the 33 Russian citizens detained in Belarus - the alleged fighters of "PMC Wagner" - and what goals were set for them. He did not come into details. Speaking about presidential elections, Lukashenko said that the goal of the Russian leadership in these elections is to make him "more pliable." Two opposition politicians who were not allowed to participate in the elections - Viktar Babaryka and Valery Tsepkalo - he called Russian projects. Lukashenko called Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya who was admitted to the elections, a person involved in the campaign by the headquarters of Tsepkalo and Babaryka, and said that he felt sorry for her. At the same time, he expressed the opinion that the campaign against him is not organized by the top leadership of Russia, but by middle managers, possibly deputy ministers. Lukashenko on Crimea and Ukraine Lukashenko also criticized the former Ukrainian leadership for not ordering to forcefully hold Crimea in 2014. "If they even tried to take a piece of land from me, there would have already been thousands of people! Crimea is a pearl, and you did not fight!" - he said. When asked directly whether Lukashenko considers Russia an aggressor against Ukraine, the President of Belarus said that he would not use such words. At the same time, he said that "it is necessary to end immediately" the war in Donbass. Lukashenko considers both Russia and Ukraine to be "brother" countries and confirmed that Minsk is ready to become a mediator in the peaceful settlement. “I want the three of us - Ukraine, Russia, Belarus - to sit down like brothers and resolve the issue,” Lukashenka said. The President of Belarus also spoke about his telephone conversation with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu in February 2015, during the Debaltsevo battle in Donbass. According to Lukashenko, he asked Shoygu if Russia had "gone" too far in Ukraine. Shoygu, according to the Belarusian president, agreed that the conflict "must end." Soon the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the conflict were concluded. "Unification is impossible" Speaking about his relationship with Vladimir Putin, Lukashenko called the Russian president an "elder brother" and a "good friend." However, he said Russia puts unacceptable pressure on Minsk. Lukashenka also said that, in his opinion, Putin will not hold on to power and does not maintaining his post until 2036. “He will find an option for people or the president to come to power who will continue the path of development of Russia that exists now,” the Belarusian president said. Also, according to Lukashenko, Boris Yeltsin expressed his disappointment that he chose Putin as his "successor". Lukashenko also said that the unification of Russia and Belarus is no longer possible, since the Belarusian people will not accept it. "One has thrown coronavirus" The President of Belarus also expressed the opinion that someone threw him in the coronavirus. According to him, he carried the infection "on." It was the coronavirus that he explained his illness during the recent appeal to parliament and people. On August 9, presidential elections will be held in Belarus, early voting is already underway. The election campaign is accompanied by massive opposition rallies. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is considered Lukashenko’s main opponent - after a number of opposition candidates got denied. The campaign is also taking place in an atmosphere of aggravated relations between Minsk and Moscow. Last week, 33 Russian citizens were detained in Belarus and accused of riots preparing. Lukashenko stated on Thursday that a "hybrid war" is going on against Belarus, and he did not specify who is waging it: "We do not even know who they are. Either it is the Americans with NATO, or someone from Ukraine is pressing us, or the Eastern brothers "love" us so much - we don't even know."