French President Emmanuel Macron proposed on Thursday that the European Union (EU) facilitate a dialogue in Belarus along with other institutions and Russia.
“We hope that this dialogue can be established by the Belarusians themselves. But the EU stands ready to accompany them — if our role of mediation can be useful and desired by the Belarusians, with other institutions, notably the OSCE, and including Russia,” said Macron.
Macron made the remarks at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following their meeting at Macron’s Mediterranean presidential retreat, Fort de Bregancon.
Merkel said that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko “has not sought to speak” to any EU leaders. “It is clear we are telling (Russian President Vladimir) Putin that we are seeking a dialogue,” she added.
Lukashenko said on Wednesday that Western leaders should focus on their own problems rather than the political situation in Belarus, state news agency BelTA reported.
“They are having a lot of problems at home. Do not point at Belarus in order to draw attention away from the issues in France, the United States, Germany and so on,” Lukashenko said at a meeting of his national security council via video link.
Belarus is engulfed in mass protests after Lukashenko won a sixth term during the Aug. 9 elections, with the opposition refusing to recognize the results.
Also on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is concerned about foreign interference in the internal affairs of Belarus.
“I will not specify these forces and countries. There is indirect and even direct interference. We are concerned in this regard,” Peskov told a daily briefing.
Moscow is convinced that the problems in Belarus should be resolved by the Belarusians themselves through dialogue within the legal framework, he reiterated. Enditem