Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed to his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, support for constitutional reform as a way to overcome the crisis in the neighboring country, and rejected any outside interference. Russia provided a loan of 1.2 million euros.
We are aware of your proposal to start work on the Constitution. I think it is logical, timely and convenient, “said Putin at the beginning of his meeting at the presidential residence in the seaside resort of Sochi, on the Black Sea.
At the first meeting between the two leaders since the start of anti-government protests in Belarus, Putin stressed that the solution to the crisis unleashed following the August 9 presidential elections must be resolved by the Belarusians themselves, without interference or pressure from outside so that “reach a common solution”.
Putin, who previously announced the formation of a joint police force to intervene in Belarus in case of need, pointed out that Moscow will fulfill its obligations under the State Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which provides for the strengthening of political ties, economic and military.
The Kremlin leader also stressed that he sees Belarus as a close ally and agreed with Minsk to grant a loan valued at $ 1,500 million (1,266 million euros).
Lukashenko thanked Putin and the Russian people for their support following the start of mass protests in Minsk and other cities in the country.
“He performed in a very decent way. Friends see each other in times of difficulty,” he said.
The Belarusian President – in power since 1994 in this former Soviet republic and elected for a sixth consecutive term with 80% of the votes cast in a ballot that the opposition considers fraudulent -, criticized during the election campaign Russian attempts to destabilize the situation in his country , but assured that you learned the “lesson”.
In this context, he denounced that the United States moved troops and tanks 15 kilometers from the Belarusian border, forcing Minsk to mobilize its army in the region of Grodno, bordering Poland and Lithuania, two NATO countries.
Lukashenko, 66, also considered it necessary for Moscow and Minsk to prepare their armies to “counter” possible aggression from abroad.
For his part, Putin indicated that the Russian troops, which will be sent from today to Belarus as part of the anti-terrorist military maneuvers “Slavic Brotherhood”, will return to their bases when the exercises are finished.
Today’s meeting took place the day after a new peaceful march against Lukashenko in Minsk, banned by the authorities and where more than 770 protesters were detained.