Lukashenko told Turkish television channel TRT in an interview:
- If the measures they’re imposing or will impose in the future put us in an extreme position, and we have no other measures with which to respond, we will make use of even this very harsh measure
It was the 5th round of measures since last year’s presidential election, when Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1991, officially won a 6th term with 80% of the vote.
Opposition activists in Belarus, along with Western nations, condemned the election as rigged in his favor, and tens of thousands took to the street in protest.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month:
- Nothing good will come out of it
- It will be a violation of our transit agreement, and I hope it will not come to that
- It will cause great damage to Europe’s energy sector, and not help in the development of our relations with Belarus as a transit country
Commenting on Lukashenko’s words on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said:
- We continue to hope nothing will stand in the way of Russia continuing to flawlessly fulfill its obligations under existing contracts