MINSK -- President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has vowed that his authoritarian regime will not permit any country “to blackmail and threaten Belarus.”
Speaking at a World War II victory anniversary ceremony in Minsk, Lukashenka said that Belarus, located in the center of Europe, is ready for dialogue with nations to both the west and the east.
But, he said, “some consider our good will as our weakness.”
He accused some unnamed countries of using information operations, social networks, and economic sanctions in an attempt to sway the minds of Belarusians and subdue the country.
Lukashenka called on Belarusians to "defend" the country like their parents and grandparents did during World War II.
The 67th anniversary of the end of the war was being marked throughout former Soviet republics, including Belarus, on May 9.
Based on reporting by Interfax and RFE/RL’s Belarus Service