Vladimir Putin says he is “convinced” that Alexander Lukashenko will be able to resolve the crisis

Faced with an unprecedented protest movement in his country, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko held talks in Russia with Vladimir Putin. The Moscow force said on Monday that he was “convinced” that Alexander Lukashenko could solve the political crisis in his country.

Russian President Vladimir Poutine said on Monday (September 14th) “convinced” that his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Loukachenko will be able to resolve the political crisis in his country, the site of an unprecedented protest movement since his re-election in early August.

Referring to the vague constitutional reform that Alexander Loukachenko promised to emerge from the crisis, Vladimir Putin said he was “convinced that your experience of political work” will enable Belarus to “reach new borders”, according to the pictures from their meeting in Sochi, southern Russia, is broadcast on Russian television.

Lukashenko’s plane landed in the seaside resort of Sochi on Monday, where Putin regularly welcomes visiting dignitaries.

>> To read also: “If there is change in Belarus, it is because the Kremlin will have disconnected Lukashenko”

After a tête-à-tête that lasted more than four hours between the two presidents, the Belarusian president confirmed that he wanted to change the constitution, the Kremlin said of this reform. This is the only solution that Minsk proposes to get out of this political crisis, the most serious that Alexander Lukashenko has known in 26 years in power.

The Belarusian president, who has mobilized protesters against him for the fifth weekend in a row, is seeking financial and military support from Moscow in hopes of turning the situation in his favor.

In Belarus, the opposition denies the result, rigged accordingly, of the presidential election, which was won by the outgoing president on August 9 by officially 80% of the vote.

Alexander Lukashenko under pressure from the streets

Since then, tens of thousands of Belarusians have demonstrated every weekend, thousands of people have been arrested and almost all the main opposition leaders have been detained, deported or forced to flee the country. The opposition says it fears Alexander Lukashenko will sell Belarus’s independence in exchange for Vladimir Putin’s support.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who is leading the loop against the president and whose supporters claim she is the real winner of the election, said no agreement reached between the two leaders would be valid.

>> See also: Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, Belarusian opposition leader: “We want a new country”

“I would like to remind Vladimir Putin: whatever you accept and whatever you agree with at the Sochi meeting has no legal significance,” she wrote on Telegram’s social network. .

“All agreements signed with an illegal Lukashenko will be reviewed by the new government. Because the Belarussian people refused to trust Lukashenko and support him in the election. I am very sorry that you decided to enter into dialogue with a dictator and not with the Belarusian people, “added the opponent, who went into exile in Lithuania.

On Sunday, almost 100,000 protesters took to the streets of Minsk again, shouting “you are a rat” to the president. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.

Military support from Moscow

Vladimir Putin said last month that he had set up a “reserve police force” at the request of Alexander Lukashenko, but that it would only be deployed if necessary.

On Monday, Russia will send paratroopers to Belarus in joint “Slavic Brotherhood” military exercises that will last until September 25, reported the RIA news agency quoted by the Ministry of Defense. Russia has also offered to restructure Belarus’s debt and support its banking system.

For Alexander Lukashenko, who has difficult relations with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president’s support could cost him greater dominance in Moscow over the former Soviet republic.

Russia has long pushed for closer economic integration between the two countries, including through a single currency. Despite Alexander Lukashenko’s reluctance to face the Russian project, the Belarussian leader could find himself in a very precarious position without Moscow’s support as protests in his country escalate.

With AFP and Reuters