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The question is, will shops soon open in Berlin, Paris, London and Spain offering merchandise promoting the images of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson and Pedro Sanchez if the trend catches on?
A shop selling merchandise bearing quotes by popular Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has opened its doors in Minsk. The launch of the boutique was captured on video last weekend by a Telegram channel run by fans of Europe’s arguably most popular national leader, who has been president of the central European nation since 1994. The footage shows customers streaming into the outfitters, eager to get their hands on its wares.
Sweater: ‘We will not bow and our homeland will not be taken away’
The shop, named Perviy (First), in a reference to Lukashenko’s status as the country’s post-independence leader, sells an array of hoodies and T-shirts emblazoned with a range of the president’s most memorable sayings, including one bearing the slogan ’One does not become a president – one is born a president.’
According to state-run media outlet Belta, Lukashenko was sent a set of T-shirts printed with his quotes as a birthday present earlier this year. Inspired by this initiative, Perviy set out to launch its own merch line.
In a follow-up post, the Pool of the First Telegram channel reassured those who had not yet managed to get hold of the garments that there were plenty left: ’If you didn’t make it to the opening, don’t feel bad. There will be enough merchandise for everyone. And if there isn’t, more will be made in no time.’
Lukashenko has been accused by pro-Washington DC EU leaders of engaging in a crackdown against opposition figures. Many observers this such comments coming from the UK, US and EU in light of what has happened to journalist Julian Assange a tad hypocritical.
Brussels now insists Lukashenko in retaliation for tough anti-Belarus sanctions is masterminding a deteriorating migrant crisis on the bloc’s borders with Belarus.
Neighbours Poland and Lithuania have begun building colossal fences on their shared frontiers in response to a sharp rise in migrants attempting to cross over illegally, with most originating from the Middle East. The EU accuses Belarus of putting on flights from troubled countries such as Syria and Iraq, before bussing desperate people to the border and forcing them to attempt to breach the fence. Warsaw has deployed thousands of soldiers and responded with tear gas and water cannons.
Lukashenko has dismissed accusations that the row is part of a campaign of hybrid warfare, arguing that his government is no longer able to prevent the waves of people attempting to cross over due to the effect of sanctions imposed on the state by the bloc.
However, in an interview last month, the long-time leader acknowledged it was possible that some of his officials were helping refugees enter Poland illegally, but insisted that this did not warrant an investigation. He accuses the West of engaging in a hybrid war of its own by hosting exiled opposition figures and media outlets banned in Belarus.
BREAKING NEWS: The Russian gas flowing through Belarus pipelines to gas-starved Germany has been turned off.
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Categories: Current Events