Moscow, Minsk against attempts to distance Belarus from Russia: Lavrov

Sep 2, 2020
Moscow:  Moscow and Minsk are firmly against attempts to tear Belarus away from Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said here on Wednesday.

“We will respond to those who are trying to destabilize the situation in Belarus and who have been trying for many years to tear Belarus away from Russia,” Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei.

Belarus, perhaps for the first time, faces a serious threat of destabilisation with active intervention from outside, Lavrov said.

Russia condemns foreign countries that exert pressure on the legitimate authorities of Belarus and openly support the opposition, he said, adding that Moscow will categorically suppress foreign attempts to organise provocation against Belarus, especially via multilateral platforms, Xinhua news agency reported.

Russia sees the presidential elections in Belarus as valid and looks forward to the normalization of the situation through dialogue in the framework of the constitution and law, Lavrov said.

Moscow considers the initiative of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to carry out constitutional reforms very promising, and believes that such a political process can become a useful platform for a national dialogue, he said.

Makei said at the news conference that he expects the internal contradictions in Belarus to be resolved in the very near future and the country to “restore its long-term status of a calm, open and hospitable state in the centre of Europe.”

Before the start of their talks, Lavrov said Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Lukashenko in Moscow in the coming weeks, while Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin will pay a visit to Minsk on Thursday.

Belarus has been witnessing protests after incumbent President Lukashenko won a sixth term in the August 9 elections, with the opposition refusing to recognize the results.IANS