Belarus accuses Germany, Poland of plotting coup

Four challengers for the presidency remain in custody.

Belarus accuses Germany, Poland of plotting coup

State-controlled media in Belarus accused the intelligence services of Germany and Poland on Friday of trying to organise a coup during last month's presidential election in the former Soviet republic.

The re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus since 1994, led to huge protests and hundreds of arrests. Opponents and international observers denounced his landslide win on Dec. 19 as fraudulent.

Four challengers for the presidency remain in custody.

Sovietskaya Belarussia newspaper, mouthpiece of Lukashenko's administration, said transcripts it published on Friday of what it said were comments by opposition figures showed that a coup had been afoot. The transcripts included statements to police.

"There is no doubt that the special services, above all of Poland and Germany, played a part in the events of Dec. 19," the newspaper said.

"Poland became a launch pad for organising forces capable of overthrowing the legitimate authorities of Belarus. Special training camps were set up there for activists. The future ruling class was trained there," it added.

Warsaw and Berlin are among European Union states voicing concern about events in Poland's eastern neighbour.

Sovietskaya Belarussia said that the political opposition had been financed by the West: "Hundreds of thousands of dollars were brought to Minsk in suitcases, accompanied by happy smiles and assurances of correct behaviour," it said.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis, whose country took over the OSCE's rotating chairmanship from Jan. 1, said on Thursday he would continue to urge Belarus to change its ways and warn it of the diplomatic consequences.

"They need to release all the prisoners, give them proper medicine, to allow the doctors to come and see them," he said.


Agencies

Last Mod: 14 Ocak 2011, 15:23
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