Belarusian President set new tasks to the force structures
On 21 February the Belarusian President staged a meeting regarding the issues of national security. It was a attended by the top officials from the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, KGB and the State Committee of Border Troops and the State Customs Committee.
Aliaxandr Lukashenka referred to this national security issues meeting as a concluding stage to sum up the results of the work done by the law enforcement and military structures in 2005, and accused the West and the Belarusian opposition of attempting to destabilize the situation in the country prior to the presidential elections.
The Belarusian President said that in the near future the army and law enforcement structures will have to be operating in "a quite difficult situation" and be specifically responsible for efficient work. Lukashenka urged “preemptive action, more optimal and efficient decision”. He also accused the West of pressurizing Belarus - pressure "ranging from unhidden blackmailing to interference attempts", and accused the opposition of petty provocative actions and extremist action threats. According to Lukashenka, the opposition understands they have no chances of winning the elections legally so: “The opponents to the current regime are jumping out of their skin to foment the situation in the country, the shake the foundations of the state and citizenship and vilify our spiritual values. So, our main task is to protect the Belarusian people against the imposition of somebody else’s will, lies and violence. Under such conditions, army and law enforcement structures have to meet every tougher requirements".
The President demanded that the meeting participants would not report successes to him but which of the plans made would fail. At the same time, he said that the money allocated by the government on the national security provision is a justified decision.
The political scientist Andrei Fiodarau, former head of the international relations department of the Supreme Soviet, said commenting Lukashenka's speech that this situation is not an unexpected one. According to Fiodarau, moral pressure on the part of the West that assumes the shape of multiple resolutions is there, but talking of physical pressure is early. The political scientist does not see any examples or attempts on the part of the opposition to destabilize the situation - the opposition did not take any violent actions and the recent solidarity actions with candle were peaceful. Andrei Fiodarau believes that the purpose of the Lukashenka statement is “to create an atmosphere of a beleaguered camp so that even more brutal actions against the opposition can be justified. If they manage to convince the community, the community will be more tolerant to the brutal actions of the power structures”.
The only fear that Mr. Fiodarau believes the governmental authorities have is that electors are likely to take to streets on 19 or 20 April to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the results of, in his words, the ballot count rather than elections. So, Fiodarau emphasized, “everything is being done to prevent such a scenario and show both the citizens and the West that the authorities have everything under control".