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US Plays Key Role in Belarus Unrest, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Says

© REUTERS / BELAPANStudents scuffle with law enforcement officers during a protest against presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus September 1, 2020
Students scuffle with law enforcement officers during a protest against presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus September 1, 2020 - Sputnik International
The Belarusian opposition initiated mass nationwide protests after the 9 August presidential election saw Lukashenko re-elected for a sixth term.

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) said in a statement that the US played a key role in events in Belarus.

"The events in Belarus clearly show a Western trail. Protest actions from the very beginning are well-organised and coordinated from abroad ... According to the information available to the SVR, the US is playing a key role in the current events in Belarus," the official report of the SVR quoted Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergei Naryshkin as saying.

The US poured around $20 mln into Belarusian protests in 2019-2020 through NGOs and has increased its sponsoring of Belarusian anti-governmental forces since the start of rallies, the SVR said in a statement.

US, EU Allies Began Preparing Events in Belarus in Advance, Lukashenko Says

The United States and their European allies began preparing the current events in Belarus 10 years in advance, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Wednesday.

"Globally speaking, this is the United States, namely, their network of foundations to support the so-called democracy. In Europe, US satellites were active — Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and, unfortunately, Ukraine," the president said, as quoted by the Belta news agency.

All of these countries had a role to play, Lukashenko said. The West changed its tactics after unsuccessful attempts to foment revolution in Belarus in 2006 and 2010, the president said. The destabilization technologies prepared for the presdiential elections had been "tested" at the legislative elections several months earlier, according to Lukashenko.

Lukashenko said that there were plans to bring thousands of people to the streets during protests and capture important buildings.

Those who organized protests in Belarus have taken scenarios that were used in Syria and Venezuela as a guidance, Lukashenko said.

"They used a new approach to destabilizing Belarus — aiming at the president's most loyal voters, such as those who live in the regions, workers, civil servants, retirees. The same tactic was used in Syria and in Venezuea," Lukashenko said, as quoted by the Belta news agency.

The new Belarusian constitution should reflect a common vision of the country's future, President Alexander Lukashenko said.

"Time has come to give impetus to the social and political life. It is important to form a common vision of what our country and its state structure should be like in the future. This is what the constitution should reflect," Lukashenko stressed, as quoted by the state-run news agency Belta.

Earlier, Lukashenko said that the protests in Belarus were being directed from Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and the Czech Republic.

Mass anti-government rallies have been ongoing in Minsk and other cities across Belarus for over a month, as the opposition and its supporters do not agree with the official results of the 9 August election, which saw President Alexander Lukashenko reelected for a sixth term.

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