Belarus ready to accept Bakiyev – report

Kurmanbek Bakiyev
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has allegedly said that Kurmanbek Bakiyev is currently in the south of Kazakhstan, and that Belarus is ready to accept him, Interfax news agency reports.

“If [Bakiyev] would like to come to Belarus today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow – we are ready to accept him here. I repeat – this is my personal decision as head of state, I have the right to make this decision. Let them condemn me or not, but betraying people is the most shameful thing in this world,” Lukashenko said as cited by Interfax.

On April 15, ousted Kyrgyz president Bakiyev said at a media briefing that Belarus and Kazakhstan had offered him political asylum.

“As for Bakiyev’s current location, I am not the only one knows where he is,” Lukashenko said. “Bakiyev is in the south of Kazakhstan together with his family – a five-year-old son, a daughter and his wife.”

He stressed that “if the Kyrgyz president and his family need any support and help in this hard time, they will get it in Belarus.”

Lukashenko expressed doubt over the statement by Kyrgyzstan’s interim government that, if Belarus grants political asylum to Bakiyev, it could complicate Kyrgyz-Belarusian bilateral relations.

“I want to ask three rhetorical questions. First, what serious problems could possibly occur in relations with Kyrgyzstan? What issues will there be? Secondly, will we indeed not survive those complications? And third, if Kurmanbek Bakiyev were currently in Belarus, that would be a benefit for the interim government. It would set them loose,” Lukashenko said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also addressed the Kyrgyz people, declaring that “they will make a gross mistake if they betray their president.”

“Only the people may hold the president accountable. No gangs, no groups, opposition. Only the people,” Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko recently called the events in Bishkek“an unconstitutional coup d’etat”.

“Perhaps it sounds unpopular, but I will say honestly and sincerely: this is an unconstitutional coup d’etat. Such things should not happen,” Lukashenko told journalists.