Date: 6 October 2020

Diplomatic clash with neighbors, Tsikhanouskaya about Putin, pensioners’ protest

On Monday, pensioners took to the streets of Minsk to protest against the official election results. Approximately 200 people attended the demonstration. When the protest was over and the participants were dispersing, the militia detained two people. On October 5, a search was carried out in the editorial office of the independent portal Silnyje Novosti from Gomel, in eastern Belarus. The journalist, who was arrested while reporting on the opposition’s demonstration, was sentenced to 15 days’ imprisonment. He is the husband of the editor-in-chief of the portal, who was detained on Saturday and charged with participating in an illegal protest action on September 27. Silnyje Novosti is the most popular news portal in Gomel and reports on the opposition’s actions. On Monday, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya travelled from Vilnius to Berlin where she met with representatives of the Belarusian community. An informal leader of protests in Belarus announced that she would like to meet with the president of Russia. “To understand why she supports Lukashenko,” explained Tsikhanouskaya, who was invited by Chancellor Angela Merkel to a meeting on Tuesday, October 6. Once again, Lukashenko attacked Poland and the Baltic States. During the meeting with the head of the customs department, Lukashenko said that if Belarus “tackles” the transit from Lithuania and Latvia, then “the logistic centers of Lithuania will not receive about a quarter [of cargo traffic flow].” On Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania informed that it is calling its ambassador in Minsk Andrius Pulokas for consultations. The communiqué noted that Lithuania is coordinating its activities with Poland and other EU countries. On the same day the Ambassadors of Belarus to Poland and Lithuania returned to Minsk for consultations. The decision about their dismissal was made on Friday, when the European Union introduced sanctions against 40 representatives of the Belarusian authorities for fraudulent presidential election and repressions against those protesting against the falsifications. The Belarusian MFA also demanded that the embassies of Poland and Lithuania limit the number of their diplomats in Belarus.

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