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Iran Press TV

Russia sees no reason to send forces to Belarus as situation under control: Kremlin

Iran Press TV

Monday, 31 August 2020 3:37 PM

The Kremlin says the situation in Belarus is under control, stressing that Russia sees no need to send forces to calm the post-election unrest in the neighboring country.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call with reporters on Monday that Belarusian security forces and the country's leadership were keeping the situation under control in "quite an assured manner."

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko won the country's presidential election on August 9 by a landslide, securing a sixth term in office. But Lukashenko's political opponents and Belarus' opposition organized riots and mass protests, claiming electoral fraud and demanding that the election be repeated.

Rejecting the allegations of vote rigging and an election repeat, the Belarusian leader has warned of a Western plot to destabilize the country and turned to Putin for help with maintaining security.

Putin announced last week that the Kremlin had set up a special police force to support Lukashenko at his request, but said it would not be deployed unless unrest there spun out of control.

The Russian president said Moscow would only involve itself in Belarus if "extremist elements acting under the cover of political slogans cross certain red lines and engage in banditry, start burning houses and banks, [and] try storming government buildings."

Putin urged Belarus' government and opposition on Thursday to resolve their differences peacefully.

Belarus leader proposes vote on constitution reforms

In the conference call with reporters on Monday, Peskov also expressed Moscow's readiness to support Belarus in amending its constitution if Minsk asked for it.

"Belarusian side did not ask us for help with the development of the new constitution and Russia in such case does not want to enforce its services without a request from our Belarus colleagues and allies," the Kremlin spokesman said.

Lukashenko had earlier in the day discussed plans for a referendum on constitutional reforms.

"I'm ready to argue with anyone that the most independent court is in Belarus. No one should laugh," the Belarusian president said, adding that the system, however, needed to work "without being tied to a personality," including himself.

Lukashenko said members of the public would be able to "give their opinion: what they like, what they don't," while insisting that "those who yell about being for changes" were a minority.

His proposals on Monday focused on court reforms and rejected calls by the opposition to go back to the country's 1994 constitution that was later modified to give the president more powers.

Lukashenko has underlined that going back to the 1994 constitution as the opposition wants would not move the country forward.

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