Sep 25, 2020 15:28 UTC
  • Russia says EU meddling in Belarus’ affairs

Russia says the European Union (EU)’s decision not to recognize Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus constitutes meddling in the Eastern European country’s affairs.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that the EU’s decision contradicted international law and would complicate the bloc’s dialog with Belarus.

Peskov stressed that the decision would not affect the relations between Moscow and Minsk.

Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in as president of Belarus for a sixth term on Wednesday. He won the country’s presidential election in August. The opposition rejected the official results of the election and claimed there had been voter fraud. Belarus has been experiencing unrest since.

Western governments have repeated the Belarusian opposition’s allegations. The EU announced on September 15 that it did not recognize Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus. On Thursday, the EU’s 27 member states said in a statement that Lukashenko’s inauguration “directly contradicts the will of large parts of the Belarusian population, as expressed in numerous, unprecedented and peaceful protests since the elections.”

Lukashenko has rejected the allegations of vote rigging but proposed the drafting of a new constitution less reliant on the head of state.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to grant a loan of 1.5 billion dollars to Belarus, reaffirming support for the elected administration in the country.