Belarus accuses EU states of 'plotting poll coup'

Belarus on Friday accused EU members Poland and Germany of seeking to topple its strongman President Alexander Lukashenko by organising the December mass protest against his re-election.

Sovyetskaya Belorussia (Soviet Belarussia), the official newspaper of the presidential administration, said the German and Polish secret services had devised the plot and Poland had even trained opposition activists.

The newspaper said in an editorial that the aim of the plot was to "avenge Lukashenko and put in place an obedient puppet."

"There is no doubt that the events of December 19 were above all directed by the special services of Poland and Germany," it said, adding that organisers, technology and funds were channelled into Belarus to achieve this aim.

It said that Poland was the main "training ground" for the opposition and "there, special training camps were set up for activists".

Tens of thousands of people protested on election night in Minsk against what they perceived as unfair elections that gave incumbent strongman Lukashenko a fourth presidential term.

The protest was followed by a violent crackdown and detention of over 600 people, including most of the candidates who stood against Lukashenko.

EU states have condemned the crackdown and warned that Lukashenko risks complete isolation if it continues. However this the first time that Minsk has explicitly accused Europe of being behind the protests.


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