About: Alexander Lukashenko

Europe's East 06-07-2021

Belarus jails Lukashenko foe Babariko for 14 years in sham trial

A court in Belarus jailed former presidential contender Viktor Babariko for 14 years on Tuesday (6 July) after convicting him on corruption charges he denied, sparking condemnation from the West and the embattled opposition-in-exile.
Europe's East 06-07-2021

EU condemns Belarus ‘pressuring’ Lithuania with migrants, says Michel

The European Union "speaks with one voice" in condemning a decision by Belarus to allow illegal migrants to cross into Lithuania in response to EU sanctions, European Council President Charles Michel said on Monday (5 July).
Europe's East 05-07-2021

Lukashenko orders closure of Belarus border with Ukraine

Belarus' leader Alexander Lukashenko on Friday (2 July) ordered the closure of the border with Ukraine, seeking to block what he called an inflow of weapons to coup-plotters detected by his security services, BelTA state news agency reported.
Europe's East 05-07-2021

Von der Leyen says flow of illegal migrants from Belarus ‘politically motivated’

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday (2 July) pledged support for Lithuania, which is experiencing a quickly growing flow of Middle East migrants though its 679-kilometre border with Belarus.
Europe's East 29-06-2021

EU reproves Belarus’ walkout from the Eastern Partnership

Belarus on Monday (28 June) said it was suspending its participation in the EU’s Eastern Partnership, an initiative to boost ties between the EU and its ex-Soviet neighbours, a move condemned by Brussels as “another step backwards” after the skyjacking...
Europe's East 23-06-2021

Lukashenko blasts ‘Nazi’ Germany after new Western sanctions

Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko Tuesday (22 June) accused modern Germany of Nazism on the 80th anniversary of Hitler's invasion of the USSR and a day after coordinated Western sanctions on his country.
Europe's East 22-06-2021

West piles coordinated sanctions on Belarus after plane diversion

The EU, US, Britain and Canada ratcheted up pressure on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko Monday (21 June) by imposing coordinated sanctions after the forced landing of a Ryanair airliner to arrest a regime critic.
Europe's East 16-06-2021

Lithuania says Belarus is helping Middle Eastern migrants to cross its borders

Lithuania's Prime Minister says she believes Belarus is behind a recent spike of illegal immigration into Lithuania, following a threat by its president that it will no longer prevent migrants from crossing its western border.
Europe's East 08-06-2021

Belarus strongman toughens protest laws

Belarusian strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday (8 June) signed legislation toughening protest laws, raising the stakes of a crackdown following his disputed re-election last year.
Europe's East 31-05-2021

Putin and Lukashenko go for boat ride after plane outcry

Russian President Vladimir Putin took Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko for a boat trip on Saturday (29 May) as the close allies met for a second day and held "informal talks" amid the outcry after Minsk diverted a European plane.
Europe's East 28-05-2021

Putin and Lukashenko to meet after Belarus plane diversion

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko will meet Friday (28 May) after the UN civil aviation agency announced it will investigate the diversion of a passenger plane and the arrest of a journalist on board in a...
Europe's East 27-05-2021

Defiant Lukashenko defends plane diversion, blasts critics

A defiant President Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday (26 May) defended Belarus's diversion of a European flight and arrest of a dissident on board, lashing out at critics at home and abroad.
Aviation 26-05-2021

France cancels Moscow flight as Russia snubs Belarus bypass

Air France cancelled a Paris-Moscow flight on Wednesday (26 May) after Russia failed to approve a new route bypassing Belarus, the airline said. The French carrier, part of Air France-KLM, scrapped flight AF1154 “for operational reasons linked to the bypassing...
Eastern Europe 26-05-2021

EU hesitant over potential ‘Putin connection’ in Belarus plane ‘hijacking’

Despite the speculations about a Russian involvement in the forced landing of the Ryanair airliner in Minsk, given the importance of Russia, EU leaders who met in Brussels for a two-day summit decided to decouple the issues and concentrate on...
Europe's East 25-05-2021

EU leaders agree to pile sanctions on Belarus over jetliner ‘state piracy’

Western powers prepared to pile sanctions on Belarus and cut off its aviation links, furious after it scrambled a warplane to intercept a Ryanair aircraft and arrest a dissident journalist, an act one leader denounced as 'state piracy'.
Europe's East 24-05-2021

Vilnius university says its student travelling with Protasevich also detained, demands release

A Belarusian university in Vilnius on Monday (24 May) said its student Sofia Sapega, 23, who was travelling with journalist Roman Protasevich, had also been detained when their flight was diverted there from Vilnius and demanded her release.
Digital & Media 24-05-2021

Minutes to touchdown: the moment the Belarusian journalist knew his time was up

Ryanair Flight 4978 had already begun its descent into the Lithuanian capital when the pilot announced that the plane would be suddenly diverting to Minsk, capital of neighbouring Belarus.
Europe's East 24-05-2021

Belarus ‘state terrorism’ suddenly tops the agenda as EU leaders meet

Belarus forced a plane carrying an opposition activist to land in its capital, provoking a furious outcry from world leaders who described it as an "act of state terrorism" ahead of an EU summit expected to toughen sanctions on Minsk.
Europe's East 22-05-2021

Belarus opposition activist dies in prison

A Belarusian political activist has died in jail where he was serving time for participating in the demonstrations that rocked the ex-Soviet country last year after a disputed presidential election, local media reported.
Europe's East 18-05-2021

Belarus raids main independent news site

Authorities in Belarus raided the offices of the country's largest independent news portal and took down its website on Tuesday (18 May), management said, signalling a widening crackdown after historic opposition protests last year.
Europe's East 11-05-2021

EU prepares new round of Belarus sanctions from June

The European Union is readying a fourth round of sanctions against senior Belarus officials in response to last year's contested presidential election and could target as many as 50 people from June, four diplomats said.
Global Europe 21-04-2021

Putin warns the West not to cross the red line in relation to Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual State of the Union address on Wednesday (21 April), presenting a narrative according to which the West was playing a dangerous and hostile game against his country, which had no other choice but to defend itself.
Europe's East 08-03-2021

Belarus journalists struggle as crackdown on media intensifies

The case of two female Belarussian journalists jailed in February for reporting about protests in Minsk once again highlighted the severity of the government's crackdown on news media in the former Soviet republic.
Europe's East 18-02-2021

Belarus court sentences two journalists to two years in prison

A court in Belarus on Thursday (18 February) sentenced two journalists to two years in prison on charges of fomenting protests against strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko.