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.”Russian news agency Interfax, citing Belarusian media, said Lukashenko discussed the situation with Putin during a phone call.
The European Union is preparing to impose new sanctions on Belarus in response to a bloody crackdown in which at least two protesters were killed and thousands detained, while the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and of Lithuania called on Belarus to conduct a new campaign “free and fair” Elections.
Opposition presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who fled to neighboring Lithuania on Tuesday, called for more protests and a recount of the elections.
Several thousand people gathered in Minsk on Saturday. A large crowd formed near the Pushkinskaya metro station in the capital, in honor of a protester who died there during the police crackdown on protesters.
Protesters laid flowers at the site where Alexander Taraikovsky, 34, died on Monday in clashes between protesters and police in the aftermath of the election Lukashenko claims to have won with 80% of the vote.
Many chanted “Go! And some held photos of protesters with severe bruises, after reports of detained protesters being beaten and tortured. Others carried “No to violence” and “No more torture” signs.
More than 6,700 people were arrested in the crackdown and hundreds injured.
Officials have confirmed two deaths in the unrest, including Taraikovsky, who they say died when an explosive device detonated in his hand during a protest, and another man who died in custody after being arrested in the south-eastern town of Gomel.
Taraikovsky’s funeral took place on Saturday and a “March for Freedom” is scheduled for Sunday in central Minsk, after Tikhanovskaya called for a weekend of new protests.
Russia sees Belarus as a strategic buffer against NATO and the EU, but relations between the two countries were strained before the elections. Moscow has cut back its financial support for Minsk and Lukashenko has rejected Russian calls for closer political and economic union.
Lukashenko accused the protesters of colluding with foreign backers and warned Belarusians to stay at home to avoid becoming “cannon fodder”.
Moscow also this week accused unknown countries of “outside interference” in Belarus. Russia has been wary of border unrest since governments fell in the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2003-04, and the Maidan protests in Kiev in 2014 – events in which the West supported the protesters.