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France's Macron says Russian intervention in Belarus would not be welcome

France's Macron says Russian intervention in Belarus would not be welcome

Belarus has been gripped by protests since the disputed August 9 election AFP/Sergei GAPON

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday (Aug 28) that he had told President Vladimir Putin that any Russian military intervention in Belarus would be unwelcome and Paris does not want to see a repeat of what happened in Ukraine six years ago.

"As I had the opportunity to tell Vladimir Putin, I believe that any external intervention in Belarus, starting with an intervention by Russian forces, whether military or internal security, would obviously be an intervention that would come out of the Belarus national framework," Macron told a news conference.

"I think such an intervention would be unwelcome."

Macron said he would continue to talk to Putin about the need to convince President Alexander Lukashenko of the need for a mediation.

Lukashenko has faced a nearly three-week wave of protests over a disputed election. Opponents accuse him of having rigged his re-election, an accusation he denies.

Lukashenko, in power for 26 years, said on Friday he had agreed with Putin that their countries could unite their troops in the event of a threat from the West, the Belta state news agency reported.

Macon referred back to events after Ukraine's then pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a popular uprising in 2014. This was followed by Russia's annexing of Ukraine's Crimea region.

"We don't want to have a reiteration of what happened in Ukraine," he said.

Source: Reuters

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