Belarusian authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday, November 26, that he wanted to expand close relations with Russia. He was met in Minsk by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who confirmed Moscow’s support for Lukashenko.
Following protests against the Lukashenko regime in Belarus for the fourth month in a row, Allied Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov met with him in Minsk on Thursday. During the meeting, Lukashenko stressed that he wants closer relations with Moscow.
“When it comes to Belarus-Russia relations, we should not talk about a restart, but about strengthening them and intensifying relations.
I want you to understand this and know that we are ready to do it, “Lukashenko said.
Lavrov, in turn, confirmed Moscow’s support for Lukashenko and his policies.
“Greetings from Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putina]. He confirmed everything you have agreed in advance, and in particular the agreements that were reached during your visit to Sochi.
We have the same interests in strengthening relations as you have already said, “said Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.
At a meeting in Sochi in September, Putin promised Lukashenko that Russia will provide Belarus with an emergency loan of USD 1.5 billion and fulfill all its obligations under the United States Treaty. Putin said at the time that Belarus itself had to resolve the situation following the August presidential election, the results of which the opposition considers to be rigged, without external interference.
Lavrov also met with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir McKay. He said that Minsk, against which the European Union had imposed sanctions, “would not allow the imposition of unilateral mediation by individual states and international bodies”.
“I note with satisfaction Russia’s support in the post-election period in our country, marked by aggressive external pressure on the Belarussian government and attempts to destabilize the situation here. We will continue to strongly oppose attempts to interfere in Belarus’ internal affairs,” McKay said.
Protests in Belarus continue. Earlier in the week, more than 2,000 retirees marched in Minsk, demanding Lukashenko’s resignation. Before that, thousands took part in regular Sunday demonstrations in Minks and other cities. Nearly 400 detainees were reported.
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