Incumbent Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko does not need security guarantees from the country’s opposition, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.
"I don’t think he needs any security guarantees in his country. Otherwise, all that is an internal affair of Belarus," he said, stressing that Lukashenko is the legitimate Belarusian president, TASS reports.
Peskov refrained from commenting on remarks by former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya who said that the opposition was ready to provide "security guarantees" to Lukashenko, if he stepped down "peacefully." "We would not like to react to this in any way," he said.
Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.