Kremlin says EU move not to recognise Lukashenko amounts to meddling in Belarus

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko greet veterans during a ceremony unveiling a World War Two memorial to the Soviet Soldier near Rzhev in Tver Region, Russia June 30, 2020. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Friday that the European Union’s decision not to recognise Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus contradicted international law and amounted to indirect meddling in the country.

Lukashenko, in power since 1994, was inaugurated on Wednesday in a secretive ceremony after weeks of huge protests. He declared a landslide win at an election last month that was marred by vote-rigging allegations he denies.

Russia is a close ally of Belarus and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that the move not to recognise him would complicate the EU’s dialogue with Belarus, but not affect Belarusian ties with Moscow.

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