Daily Memo: More Protests in Belarus, Food Stress in China

Belarusian residents have responded – loudly – to the unannounced presidential inauguration.

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Belarus after the inauguration. Protests began on Wednesday in Minsk after the inauguration ceremony of President Alexander Lukashenko, which had not been publicly announced in advance. The Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that some 5,000 people participated in about 60 acts of protest Wednesday, more than 300 of whom were detained. These were smaller than the rallies on Sunday, which turned out around 100,000 protesters, but were notably spontaneous. Security forces dispersed them with water cannons and tear gas. In response, the opposition has called for a national strike for Thursday and Friday. Several countries disapprove of Lukashenko’s actions. The European Union has refused to recognize the presidential elections as fair, and noted that Lukashenko’s inauguration only deepens his country’s political crisis. The EU also said it would review its relations with Belarus but did not specify when or how. (Its members are still unable to agree on sanctions against Belarus, so expect a lot of long discussions, EU-style.) The United States and Canada said they do not recognize Lukashenko as Belarus’ legitimate president. But for now, Lukashenko is president, and he is carrying on with matters of state. He’ll meet today with China’s ambassador, a few days ahead of […]

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