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Lukashenka Says He Will Not Allow Further Protests

A woman counts her money as she buys a piece of cheese at a city market in Minsk in May.
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has vowed to "strike hard" against any further public protests in his country.

Belarus is suffering a severe economic crisis that has led to its currency being devalued and high inflation.

On June 12, police forcibly broke up a protest by motorists on the border with Poland who were demanding that authorities revoke a decision to limit the amount of gasoline and other goods that can be taken out of Belarus.

Lukashenka blamed the protests on "speculators."

The state news agency BelTA quoted him as saying, "I will look, watch and then I will strike hard so that they will not get a chance to defect abroad."

compiled from agency reports