Belarus leader says he expects no more mass protests after opposition announces new phase

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko delivers a speech during a meeting in Minsk

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in televised comments on Wednesday that he believed there would be no repeat of the mass protests that erupted last summer.

The comments came shortly after exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said Lukashenko’s opponents were preparing to stage a new phase of active anti-government protests in Belarus.

Mass protests broke out last summer after Lukashenko declared victory in a presidential election that his opponents said was rigged, but they lost momentum amid a sweeping crackdown by the authorities.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Gareth Jones)

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