No threat of Maidan-style protests in Belarus, says President Lukashenko

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled out the possibility of events in Belarus similar to last year's Maidan protests in Kiev.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled out the possibility of events in Belarus similar to last year's Maidan protests in Kiev.

"As far as the Maidan is concerned, anyone who has such a wild idea should forget it. There will be no Maidan in Belarus," Lukashenko said at a press conference in Minsk on Thursday.

"As long as I stay the president of the Belarus, I will be ready to prevent any fratricide. They can go to Syria if anyone wants to shoot. We will give you money to buy a ticket," he said.

"The task of the authorities is to neutralize any thugs," Lukashenko said.

The Belarusian authorities will not allow a repeat of what happened after the presidential elections on December 19, 2010, when opposition members attempted to storm the government headquarters in Minsk, he said.

"I will send you to prison, if you begin smashing doors in the Government House. I will guarantee you complete security if you decide to run in elections. But you will have to travel along this path in a civilized manner," he said.

The Belarusian authorities are aware that the persons who organized those protests and attended them received funding from abroad, Lukashenko said.

"We know who paid the money. I know what the candidates were asked to do. They were asked to stage Maidan-style protests in Belarus. I could not allow this to happen," the president said.

"That is why let's do everything in a civilized way," he said.

Lukashenko said he was not expecting the West to take a softer line on him personally because resolving the so-called political prisoners issue will not play a key role there.

"I am not eager to get into this Eastern Partnership. If we resolve this issue, they will find another one and will not allow me and my supporters to live calmly until the president elections. Thousands have been killed in Ukraine. And what is the West's conduct in this situation?" Lukashenko said.

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