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EU and Russia emphasize self-determination for Belarusians | message

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BRSSEL (dpa-AFX) – In view of the political crisis in Belarus, both the EU and Russia have emphasized the self-determination of the Belarusians. At their special summit the day before, the 27 EU states expressed their solidarity with the desire of the Belarusians to decide on their own future, wrote EU Council President Charles Michel on Twitter on Thursday. He said that in a phone call with the Russian President Wladimir Putin affirmed. A solution can only be found through political, inclusive dialogue and a peaceful, democratic process.

The Kremlin, in turn, warned foreigners on Thursday against interfering in such a dialogue. “If foreign countries – including Russia – enter into a dialogue with the opposition, it is already meddling in internal affairs,” said spokesman Dmitry Peskov for the Interfax agency. Moscow will not do this “in connection with the events surrounding the presidential election”. “First of all there has to be a dialogue in Belarus,” said Peskov. The Kremlin warned abroad on Thursday Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin had already phoned Lukashenko twice and congratulated him on his victory shortly after the election a week and a half ago.

The EU states, however, announced on Wednesday after a video summit that they would not recognize the result of the presidential election in Belarus. Michel also emphasized that the political crisis in the country between the EU state Poland and Russia was not about geopolitics, but about the right of people to choose their leadership freely. EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said the demonstrations were not directed against a neighboring country.

In the EU, there are concerns that, as in 2014, following pro-Western protests in Ukraine, Russia could also intervene militarily in Belarus. However, the starting position in Belarus is significantly different and the opposition has repeatedly stated that it does not want a break with Moscow. Moscow had promised Belarus in the past few days “the necessary help in solving problems” ./wim/DP/jha



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