Attempt underway to rock the boat, Lukashenko tells Putin at Sochi meet

WION Web Team
Moscow, Russia Published: May 28, 2021, 10:05 PM(IST)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets President Lukashenko in Sochi Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

As talks progressed in Sochi, the Belarus opposition said it will hold a nationwide strike even as several nations imposed air restrictions on the country.

As Europe continued its crackdown on Belarus on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed close ties with the country during his talks with Lukashenko.

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Putin met the isolated Belarus leader at Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi as the two leaders looked to "compare notes over the most pressing issues.

Lukashenko told Putin that the West was attempting to "rock the boat" after the EU lashed out at the Belarus regime over the forced diversion of a plane and the arrest of a dissident journalist Roman Protasevich.

"An attempt is underway to rock the boat to reach the level of last August," Lukashenko told Putin.

As talks progressed in Sochi, the Belarus opposition said it will hold a nationwide strike even as several nations imposed air restrictions on the country.

US and EU had already imposed sanctions on Belarus over the violent crackdown on protesters by Lukashenko after a disputed election last year.

Opposition forces led by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya who is currently living in exile said that "protests will continue and workers are being prepared for a nationwide strike."

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov that Belarus government's air travel row with Europe was "technical" in nature

"The aviation authorities work hard these days and the situation is extraordinary," the Kremlin said," adding,"But if they have arisen because of the European Union decisions and companies that have listened to Brussels' recommendations, then technical hiccups are inevitable. But we are working hard to eliminate them."

(With Agency inputs)

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