Putin says Lukashenko ought to begin dialogue with Belarusian opposition

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday known as on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to begin a dialogue together with his opponents, who swiftly poured chilly water on the thought except Lukashenko freed political prisoners first.

Putin helped Lukashenko journey out mass road protests after a disputed election final 12 months and has additionally backed Belarus in a standoff with the European Union over 1000’s of migrants stranded on the EU’s jap borders.

However the two leaders have endured a prickly relationship over time, regardless of Lukashenko leaning on low cost Russian power provides and loans to prop up his rule.

“We all know the scenario in Belarus has calmed down, contained in the nation, however nonetheless there are issues, we’re completely conscious of that,” Putin mentioned in a speech to overseas coverage officers in Moscow.

“And naturally we attraction for dialogue between the authorities and the opposition. However for its half Russia will certainly proceed its strategy of strengthening ties and deepening the method of integration with Belarus.”

It was not instantly clear which opposition figures Putin was encouraging Lukashenko to talk to. The Belarusian chief unleashed a violent crackdown on road demonstrations after claiming victory within the disputed August 2020 election, jailing opposition figures or working them into exile.

“Reportedly, Putin had simply known as on (Lukashenko) to begin the dialogue with the opposition,” mentioned Franak Viacorka, a senior adviser to exiled opposition chief Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who ran towards Lukashenko within the election.

“Nonetheless, earlier than this dialogue occurs, we should be sure this dialogue does not happen in jail. All political prisoners have to be launched as a pre-condition, and violence should finish.”

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; writing by Matthias Williams; Modifying by Mark Trevelyan)



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