PARIS (Reuters) – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko must accept the logic of democracy and quit power, French President Emmanuel Macron told le Journal du Dimanche.
Belarus, a former Soviet republic closely allied with Russia, has been rocked by street protests since authorities said Lukashenko won an Aug. 9 election by a landslide.
More than 12,000 protesters have been arrested since the election that the opposition denounced as rigged.
“We are witnessing a power crisis in Belarus with an authoritarian administration that is not able to accept democracy logic,” Macron said. “…It is clear that Lukashenko must go.”
Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei accused Western countries on Saturday of attempting to sow “chaos and anarchy” in the former Soviet republic.
The European Union said on Thursday Lukashenko was not the president of Belarus. Russia, Belarus’s closest ally, said the EU decision not to recognise Lukashenko amounted to indirect meddling in the country.
(Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Nick Macfie)