Lukashenko says he will close Belarus factories that are seeing protests - RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday he would close factories that have seen worker protests, the Russian RIA news agency reported, his latest attempt to quell a wave of opposition rallies since contested elections this month.

Reuters August 23, 2020 00:11:10 IST
Lukashenko says he will close Belarus factories that are seeing protests - RIA

Lukashenko says he will close Belarus factories that are seeing protests  RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday he would close factories that have seen worker protests, the Russian RIA news agency reported, his latest attempt to quell a wave of opposition rallies since contested elections this month.

Lukashenko also suggested he would fire the workers concerned.

"If a factory is not working then let's put a lock on its gate from Monday, let's stop it," RIA cited Lukashenko as saying in the town of Grodno near the border with Poland. "People will calm down and we will decide whom to invite (to work) next."

In the biggest challenge to Lukashenko's 26 years in power, people have taken to the streets in many Belarusian towns, including in its capital Minsk, for nearly two weeks, protesting against the result of an Aug 9 election that they say was rigged to give the president re-election.

Some workers at a number of state factories have also joined protests.

Lukashenko has denied any fraud in the vote.

His main opponent in the election, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, has fled to neighbouring Lithuania. Without naming anybody, Lukashenko said on Saturday that arrangers of the country-wide rallies "are sitting abroad in neighbouring countries" and enjoying political support from those countries' leaders.

In an interview with Reuters on Saturday, Tsikhanouskaya said she sees herself as a symbol of change whose role is to help deliver new elections as Lukashenko will have to quit sooner or later.

Two leading members of a newly formed opposition council in Belarus were questioned on Friday in a criminal case over what Lukashenko calls an attempt to seize power.

(Reporting by Andrey Kuzmin; Additional reporting by Andrius Sytas in Vilnius; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Frances Kerry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.