Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to remain in power. After the meeting of the two leaders at the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday (14 September), the Russian president said that the people of Belarus should resolve the crisis without foreign intervention. He described Lukashenko’s proposal for constitutional reform as “reasonable and timely”. The Russian President also announced a loan agreement of 1.5 billion with Belarus. Qatar-based Al Jazeera reports.
For the past 26 years, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been facing widespread opposition since the controversial election on 9 August. On Sunday, at least 100,000 people protested on the streets of the country’s capital Minsk. Protests also took place in several other cities across the country on the same day. The Interior Ministry of Belarus says that 84 people have been arrested in anti-government protests. Of these, at least 500 people have been arrested in the capital alone.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s plane landed at Sochi, the Black Sea resort, for a meeting with longtime ally Russian President Vladimir Putin following the arrest of the police. Lukashenko thanked the Russian President for his support during the meeting. This is the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since the disputed election.
At the meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the President of Belarus on his election victory. However, he also commented that the election was not ideal. Many believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions suggest that he does not want the neighboring former Soviet Union president to resign under pressure from the streets.
Protests have continued in Belarus for five weeks following the disputed election. Anti-Kremlin posters and placards were also seen at protests. One of the protesters, who attended Sunday’s rally, said, “I am afraid that Russia may use its interests here. Russia has to be our friend, but it will not be good for our neighbors to get involved in our internal problems. “
Katsarina Shamatsina, a researcher at the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Studies, said: “This month, Lukashenko used all the materials he had used to accomplish mass torture of people in previous years. People were beaten and detained. And then at some point the protests began to shrink in size. But this time the strategy is not working. ‘Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council on Monday launched an investigation into allegations of harassment by Belarusian authorities during protests Agreed to hold an immediate debate.
The 65-year-old President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, was interviewed by Russian media RT in protest against the protests last week. “If his government failed (to deal with protests), then the next government in Belarus would be Russia,” he warned.
Alexander Lukashenko has ruled Belarus since 1994, in a country in Eastern Europe with a population of about 9.5 million. In the past, it has accused Westerners of trying to spark protests in their country. He further stated that the provocation was to use Russia as a base for the attacks.
Meanwhile, Belarusian opposition leader Stavlana Tikankovskaya has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin. The leader, who is currently in self-imposed exile in Lithuania, said he was saddened by Putin’s negotiations with a businessman and his failure to stand by the people of Belarus.