Lukashenko and Putin say Belarus’ “problems” will be solved | World news

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin have expressed confidence that all problems in Belarus will be resolved soon, the Kremlin said.”These problems must not be exploited by destructive forces seeking to undermine mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries within the framework of state union,” the Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday.

The two leaders spoke by telephone.

Lukashenko had previously appealed to Russia, his longtime ally, as he faced increasing pressure to withdraw after a contested election that sparked protests at his country and condemnations abroad.

Lukashenko grapples with the biggest challenge to his 26-year reign as tens of thousands have taken to the streets accusing him of rigging last Sunday’s presidential election and calling on him to step down .

He suggested that the impact of the protests could spread beyond Belarusian borders. “It is necessary to contact Putin so that I can speak to him now, because it is no longer a threat only to Belarus,” Lukashenko said, according to the official Belta news agency.

He said: “Defending Belarus today is nothing less than defending our whole space, the union state… Those who roam the streets, most of them don’t understand it.”

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