Putin urges all sides to 'find way out' of Belarus crisis

By: AFP      Published: 06:40 PM, 27 Aug, 2020
Putin urges all sides to 'find way out' of Belarus crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called on the authorities in Belarus and the opposition to find a solution to the political unrest that has erupted over a disputed presidential election.

"The parties to this process have enough common sense to find a way out without resorting to extremes," Putin said in an interview aired on state television.

Belarus has been hit by opposition protests since President Alexander Lukashenko claimed a sixth term in the August 9 vote that sparked unprecedented protests and was rejected by the European Union.

EU ambassadors in Minsk on Thursday condemned the prosecution of members of an opposition group calling for Lukashenko to resign and new elections.

Putin previously warned EU leaders against interfering in Belarus and on Thursday he said Russia was ready to "fulfill its obligations" under a military alliance of former Soviet countries. 

Putin also told state television that he followed through on a request from Lukashenko to create a reserve group of law enforcement officers who could be dispatched to Belarus.

The Russian leader conceded however that there were problems in the Belarus: "otherwise people wouldn't take to the streets". 

Putin added that he hoped the problems would be resolved peacefully.

Lukashenko's notorious security services rounded up nearly 7,000 participants of peaceful rallies that erupted after he claimed some 80 percent of the vote, with hundreds of detainees claiming they were abused by police in custody.