Russia slams West for 'interfering' in Belarus internal affairs
Iran Press TV
Thursday, 26 November 2020 6:15 PM
Russia has lambasted the Western countries for "interfering" in neighboring Belarus' domestic affairs, as anti-government rallies continue to plague the ex-Soviet country since President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term in office.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the comment on Thursday after meeting with Lukashenko and other top officials in the capital Minsk, in the latest show of Moscow's support for the Belarus leader.
"The wise Belarusian people are able to sort themselves out without any outside prompting and intrusive offers of unsolicited mediation," Lavrov said.
Belarus has been in turmoil since Lukashenko won the August 9 presidential election, with his main political opponent, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, rejecting the official results and alleging voter fraud. The United States and the European Union (EU) have repeated the allegation, rejecting Lukashenko's re-election.
After the vote, 38-year-old Tikhanovskaya called for massive rallies across Belarus against the government and soon took refuge in EU member Lithuania, citing alleged pressure from the authorities.
From Lithuania, she still urges her people to continue their rallies against the incumbent president, who was sworn in as president for a sixth term in September.
Lukashenko has strongly rejected the allegations, blaming Western countries for orchestrating the demonstrations and conspiring to oust his government, which has secured a lifeline $1.5 billion loan from Moscow.
The West is "using dirty methods of so-called color revolutions, including manipulating public opinion, supporting forces that are openly anti-government, and promoting their radicalization," Lavrov further said.
The EU has already imposed sanctions on Lukashenko and a number of his allies, citing alleged election rigging and a purported violent police crackdown on protesters, hundreds of whom have reportedly been arrested.
Lavrov urges Lukashenko to press ahead with promised reforms
Elsewhere in his remarks, Lavrov told the Belarus president to honor agreements with Moscow and press ahead with constitutional reforms to defuse the months-long turmoil.
The Russian top diplomat referred to the reforms Lukashenko promised to carry out during talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on September 14.
"As President Putin has repeatedly stressed, we are interested in seeing these initiatives happen," Lavrov told Lukashenko on Thursday.
"We of course have an interest in the situation being calm, stable and we think that beginning the constitutional reform initiated by the country's leadership would contribute to this," the Russian foreign minister added.
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