Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia, at Alexander Lukashenko’s request, has formed a reserve of law enforcement officers to help Belarus. The Russian leader said this in an interview with the Russia 24 TV channel.
“Alexander Grigorievich asked me to reate a certain reserve of law enforcement officers. And I did it. But we also agreed that it will not be used until the situation gets out of control and when extremist – I want to emphasize this – elements… until extremist elements hiding behind political slogans cross certain boundaries or start looting, setting fire to cars, houses, banks, try to seize administrative buildings and so on,” Putin said.
Putin added that he and Lukashenko have agreed that “there is no such need now, and I hope there won’t be.”
Discreet and neutral
In his opinion, Russia takes “more restrained and neutral position than many other countries, Europeans and Americans.”
“But we are certainly not indifferent to what is happening there. This is a very close, maybe the closest country to us: ethnically, linguistically and culturally, spiritually. We have tens, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of direct family ties. The closest cooperation in industry. Suffice it to say that more than Belarus accounts for 90 percent of the total volume of agricultural imports to the Russian market,” Putin said.
However, according to Putin, what is happening in the country is a private affair of the Belarusian people. He also noted that he hopes that the parties will be able to find a way out of the situation “without extremes” and will not go beyond the current constitution.
New constitution and police
Vladimir Putin aslo added that “if people took to the street, we must reckon with it, hear it, react to it.”
“By the way, the President of Belarus said that he is ready to consider the possibility of carrying out constitutional reform, adopting a new constitution, holding new parliamentary and presidential election on the basis of this new Constitution, but one cannot go beyond the current Constitution.
You drew attention to the fact that the Constitutional Court of Belarus ruled that the creation of some supra-constitutional bodies that are not provided for by the main law of the country, which are trying to seize power, is absolutely unacceptable (the Coordination Council – BelarusFeed note). And it’s hard to disagree with that,” he said.
As for the actions of the law enforcement agencies of Belarus, according to Putin, in the current situation “they keep a pretty low profile”.