JRL NEWSWATCH: “Lukashenko Says He Is Ready to Share Power in Belarus as Protests Mount” – Reuters

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“[Belarus’ leader] … Lukashenko … [says] he would be ready to hold new elections and hand over power after a constitutional referendum, an attempt to pacify mass protests and strikes … pos[ing] the biggest challenge … to his rule. … He faces the threat of [EU] sanctions after a bloody crackdown on protests following what demonstrators say was his rigged re-election victory …. [U.S. and] EU [officials do not] want Russia … to meddle … Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.govafter Moscow told Lukashenko it was ready to provide military help against an external threat. … Belarus hosts pipelines … carry[ing] Russian energy exports to the West and is viewed by Moscow as a buffer zone against NATO. …”

Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, now in Lithuania, suggested that Belarusian security and law enforcement officers switch sides, offering to act as a national leader during “this period.” [Lukashenko photo is file photo from another occasion]

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