Putin: Exerting pressure on Belarusian leadership would be 'unacceptable'

Russian President Vladimir Putin told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that interference in the internal affairs of Belarus or exerting pressure on the country's leadership would be unacceptable, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

Putin made similar remarks when he discussed the ongoing protests in Belarus with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a phone conversation earlier Tuesday. 

According to a press release issued by the Kremlin, Putin warned that attempts to interfere may lead to a further escalation of the crisis.

President of the EU Council Charles Michel also talked about the crisis in Belarus with Putin as he tweeted: "I just discussed the situation in #Belarus with President Putin of Russia @KremlinRussia_E. Only peaceful and truly inclusive dialogue can resolve the crisis in Belarus."

Read more:

Belarusian President Lukashenko offers to hand over power after referendum

Belarus is engulfed in mass protests after incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term during the August 9 elections, with the opposition refusing to recognize the results.

On Monday, Lukashenko said at a rally in Minsk that there would be no re-election. He said he could share presidential power in accordance with the Constitution.

(With input from Xinhua, Reuters)

(Cover: Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government via video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, August 11, 2020. /Reuters)