The Belarusian leader also threatened to be an “eternal president” if the West does not stop “attacking” his country
Belarus’s longtime leader Alexander Lukashenko has said he will never step down from office if the West does not put an end to efforts to oust him from the country’s top job, claiming that he is prepared to deploy not only nuclear, but “supernuclear” weapons to deter his enemies.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Lukashenko accused the West of “attacking” him and attempting to stage coups in Belarus.
On the subject of a possible transfer of power in the country, the leader, who has been in office since 1994, said, “if the collective West will take its sights off Belarus and not try to overturn things there, as happened in 2020, then everything will be lawful and thorough, it will all happen earlier than they want. If they attack us, like in 2020, then I will be an eternal president.”
The strongman also claimed that Belarus was prepared to deploy nuclear arms, as well as even more powerful, unspecified weapons, to defend against threats from the West. “In the event of emergency, if our enemies and opponents take such senseless, stupid steps, we will deploy not only nuclear weapons, but even prospective supernuclear ones, to defend our territory,” he said.
The Belarusian leader also did not rule out the possibility of recognizing the independence of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic, self-proclaimed breakaway states in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, which have been locked in a conflict with Kiev’s forces since 2014. The decision would be made together with Russia, he emphasized, explaining, “we will agree with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin how to act in the best interests of Russia and Belarus, but it will be a mutual decision.”
In 2020, mass street protests broke out in Belarus following a disputed presidential election in which Lukashenko was awarded victory with more than 80% of the vote. Opposition figures, as well as many foreign observers, claimed the results were rigged in his favor, and his primary opponent in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, was forced to leave the country or face arrest.
Lukashenko has been accused of imposing a harsh police crackdown on political opposition and media following the election, causing many anti-government figures and activists to flee Belarus and effectively shuttering nearly all opposition media outlets.