MOSCOW, 14 October (BelTA) - The constitutional reform initiative put forward by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko is the optimal form of national dialogue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with three Russian radio stations that was broadcast live, BelTA has learned.
“As far as Belarus is concerned, I am convinced that our policy to support the constitutional reform proposed by President Aleksandr Lukashenko is the most optimal one. We believe (and say it publicly) that it is a good starting point, a good opportunity to embark on a truly nationwide dialogue that would include all the political forces of the country” Sergey Lavrov said.
He reiterated that Russia recognizes the outcome of the presidential election in Belarus. “We are convinced that all attempts to challenge the election results and to question their accuracy on the part of our Western partners, who demand that we now agree to having the OSCE handle the situation, are the attempts made through foul means,” he said.
Our Western partners and Western partners of Belarus were the ones who did not let the OSCE accept the invitation of President Aleksandr Lukashenko to send observers to see how the presidential election is organized and conducted. And now, when the OSCE simply missed the opportunity to make its contribution to ensuring the scenario that would benefit the Belarusian state, they say that only the OSCE will be able to save this situation. That's not true, to put it mildly,” Sergey Lavrov said.
He noted that if Western countries want Belarus to be a united and prosperous nation, any ultimatums from whatever side they come should be nipped in the bud. “It is necessary to stop the calls for violent protests, the calls for blocking roads (now we hear these calls from Tikhanovskaya). I guess, the calls she voices are authored by other people, it is quite obvious,” the Russian foreign minister added.
During the interview, Sergey Lavrov also drew parallels between France's reaction to the visit of French politician Marine Le Pen to Moscow and the way a number of European countries treat the Belarusian opposition. “The year 2017, the election campaign in France, and Marine Le Pen, the leader of a parliamentary party, a legitimate, mainstream politician, comes to Moscow at the invitation of our MPs. She talks to MPs and she is received by President Vladimir Putin,” the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry recalled. “My former counterpart, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault publicly declares that this is an attempt to interfere in the electoral process in France, that France does not interfere in the affairs of the Russian Federation and hopes that Russia will not intervene in the domestic affairs of France, either. And now Macron and Merkel are meeting with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Look how they are treating her. No one even pays attention to the fact that this is interference in internal affairs of Belarus,” he added.