Updated at 10:32,27-07-2021

Constitution of Belarus to be changed in referendum, Lukashenka says


Constitution of Belarus to be changed in referendum, Lukashenka says
Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Sergei Naryshkin at a meeting at the Palace of Independence in Minsk. October 22, 2020 Photo: Nikolay Petrov / TASS / Forum
President of Belarus Alyaksandr Lukashenka has met with the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin in Minsk, RIA Novosti reports. Initially, the topic of the meeting was not announced, but later it was reported that Lukashenka and Naryshkin discussed the protests in Belarus, the amendment of the Constitution, the situation around the Union State and the interaction of the special services.

Head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin met with Alyaksandr Lukashenka at the Palace of Independence. The incumbent president of Belarus said that the situation with the unification of the two countries into a confederal union was difficult.

During the meeting, Naryshkin spoke about the protests in Belarus. In his opinion, the country is trying to change the government by unconstitutional methods. To avoid this, they started to amend the Constitution in Minsk, and, according to Lukashenka, he managed to find a compromise with the opposition on this issue: the new version of the Basic Law will be adopted at a referendum, a political scientist who, according to RIA Novosti, was present during the conversation at the Palace of Independence, has said.

It is not specified with whom exactly from the opposition representatives Lukashenka negotiated. Obviously, those who are in jail and voluntarily agreed to take part in a “round table” with the self-proclaimed head of state are meant here.

However, Maryia Kalesnikava, Mikalai Statkevich and a number of other opposition activists were not present at these meetings. Ex-presidential candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who was forced to leave the country by the authorities, also did not mention any agreements with Lukashenka.

At the same time, the Belarusian parliamentarian Aleh Haidukevich said that the draft of the new Constitution could be presented in November or December.

Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov urged not to link Naryshkin’s visit to Belarus with the events taking place in the country. The Kremlin claims that the purpose of the visit of the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service was the interaction of the special services, which began long before the unrest.

After the presidential elections in Belarus, protests have been ongoing in the country since August 9. The protesters accuse the Central Election Commission of mass fraud and demand re-elections. During the entire period of the protests, the security forces have repeatedly shown violence towards the demonstrators. There are victims. Thousands of people were detained. Some of them were tortured.