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Reuters

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Security forces had been posted exterior factories and crops on Wednesday

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has stepped up efforts to reassert his management after 10 days of avenue protests and strikes triggered by disputed elections.

The official consequence gave him 80% of the vote however the opposition has denounced the ballot as fraudulent.

Mr Lukashenko says he has given orders to finish the unrest within the capital Minsk.

The transfer signalled an escalation simply as European Union leaders held a virtual emergency summit on Belarus.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, made clear that the EU didn’t recognise the results of the election and known as on Mr Lukashenko to launch lots of of protesters who’ve been imprisoned.

What motion did Lukashenko order?

The man who has led Belarus since 1994 mentioned he had ordered police to quell protests in Minsk. “There should no longer be any disorder in Minsk of any kind,” he instructed his safety council.

“People are tired. People demand peace and quiet,” he added. He mentioned he had ordered border controls to be tightened to stop an inflow of “fighters and arms”.

He additionally warned that staff at state media who had gone on strike in protest on the election and the next crackdown on protests that they might not get their jobs again. Russian replacements have reportedly been introduced in. Mr Lukashenko additionally accused these picketing exterior factories of harassing staff.

He had earlier accused the opposition of “an attempt to seize power”.

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EPA

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Actors of the Kuplovsky theatre had been amongst those that got here out on strike

The BBC’s Jonah Fisher in Minsk mentioned there had already been some indicators this morning of a change in techniques from the Belarusian authorities in Minsk.

Our correspondent mentioned {that a} checkpoint had appeared on the street resulting in the state TV constructing with police checking the identification of anybody strolling to the constructing. Strikes at factories round Minsk have additionally been obstructed by police.

Why the escalation?

Mr Lukashenko’s remarks got here shortly after the exiled leader of the opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, had urged EU leaders to reject the election.

The 37-year-old, who left for Lithuania after being detained for hours following the vote, launched a video assertion on Wednesday.

She mentioned President Lukashenko had “lost all legitimacy in the eyes of our nation and the world” and urged the EU to again what she known as the “awakening of Belarus”.

She mentioned: “People who went out to defend their vote in the streets of their cities all across Belarus were brutally beaten, imprisoned and tortured by the regime desperately clinging on to power. This is taking place right now in the middle of Europe.”

Ms Tikhanovskaya has fashioned a “co-ordination council” with plans for “new, fair and democratic presidential elections with international supervision”.

How has the EU responded?

After a three-hour video convention, EU Leaders agreed unanimously to take three actions over Belarus, BBC Europe Correspondent Gavin Lee experiences:

  • Firstly, to impose sanctions together with asset freezes for an as but undisclosed variety of officers concerned in alleged election-rigging, brutality and imprisonment of protesters. The precise sanctions are nonetheless being labored out
  • Secondly, leaders agreed to a joint type of phrases making clear that the EU stands with the individuals on the streets, and doesn’t recognise the consequence. But it doesn’t go so far as stating they don’t recognise President Lukashenko’s authority, as some EU officers wished
  • Thirdly, leaders supplied assist in making an attempt to mediate dialogue between the federal government and the opposition, to discover a approach for the president to face down and peacefully switch energy.

In addition, €53m (£48m; $63m) of economic assist from the EU to Belarus is being re-assigned away from the state to non-governmental organisations, with some cash assigned to assist the victims of violence, as properly organising alternate options to government-backed media organisations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel mentioned election had been neither free nor truthful.

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EPA

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Mrs Merkel mentioned the EU would lend its assist to civil society in Belarus

EU leaders, she added, condemned “the brutal violence against demonstrators as well as the imprisonment and use of violence against thousands of Belarusians” which adopted within the wake of the disputed election.

She and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pressured the necessity for a dialogue between the authorities and the opposition in Belarus.

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Media captionLarge crowds of anti-government demonstrators rallied within the capital on Sunday

On Saturday, Mr Lukashenko had mentioned that Russian President Vladimir Putin had promised to supply help within the occasion of any exterior army risk.

But on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned that there was no want for Russia to assist Belarus militarily or in any other case at current.

Mrs Merkel mentioned that “we’ve made it clear that military intervention by Russia would make the situation far more complicated”.

More in regards to the protests in Belarus

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Media captionOpposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and President Lukashenko give very completely different messages



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