Embattled Belarusian President Swears to Stand Down 'Sooner Than You Think'
07:17 GMT 02.10.2021 (Updated: 07:29 GMT 02.10.2021)
© Sputnik / Valery SharifulinPresident of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko
© Sputnik / Valery Sharifulin/
MINSK (Sputnik) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he did not want to govern the Eastern European nation forever as he was quizzed by CNN about his plans for the presidency.
"I swear I don't want to be president until I die… If your western patrons stop meddling in our country's affairs and we feel safe and confident as a sovereign nation… believe me it will happen sooner than you think", he said in an interview.
The 67-year-old has led Belarus for 27 years. He was re-elected for a sixth term in August of last year, prompting a wave of mass protests and accusations of electoral fraud from Europe and the United States. Lukashenko told CNN his country was "constantly under attack" by the West.
The Belarusian president slammed opposition leaders who fled the country as "fraudsters who were after money". He denied the EU's accusations of smuggling illegal migrants into Europe to get back at it for post-vote sanctions, saying he was "no madman" and did not want to antagonise the EU's combined population of almost 500,000 million.