Belarus’ foreign minister warned Western nations Saturday against imposing sanctions over the country’s disputed presidential election and crackdown on protesters, saying their expressions of concern are “nothing but attempts to bring chaos and anarchy to our country.”
With the European Union and Britain contemplating sanctions, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei told the virtual U.N. General Assembly meeting of world leaders that “interference in our internal affairs, sanctions and other restrictions on Belarus will have the opposite effect and are harmful for absolutely everyone.”
“We call on our partners to demonstrate wisdom, restraint and impartiality,” he said in a pre-recorded speech for the U.N. session held online because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Makei’s speech was played hours after the latest in a series of large protests in Belarus over the Aug. 9 re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, which his opponents say was rigged. The authoritarian leader further angered opponents this week by taking the oath of office for a new term in an unexpected and secretive ceremony.