Belarusian leader thanks Putin for financial support during mass protests By Reuters

Trump Says He Has Declassified Russia-Related Documents, Clinton Email Polls

2/2 © Reuters. Russian President Putin meets with his Belarusian counterpart Lukashenko in Sochi 2/2

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko thanked President Vladimir Putin on Monday for the financial support his country received from Russia when it faced massive protests last year. Russia granted Belarus a $ 1.5 billion loan last September in a gesture of support for Lukashenko when protesters took to the streets in Belarus after the Aug. 9 elections that opponents said were rigged. Lukashenko denies election fraud and has clung to power with the backing of the Kremlin, which said at the time that the money would go to refinance previous loans. “Of course, I am very grateful for the financial support they provide to Belarus,” Lukashenko told Putin during talks in the southern Russian city of Sochi. “I must inform you that this has not been in vain. The money has not been wasted.” The Russian newspaper Kommersant quoted government sources this month as saying that Lukashenko would ask Putin for another $ 3 billion loan, but the veteran Belarusian leader denied he was seeking additional money. Lukashenko responded to the protests with a violent crackdown. Opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who is based in Lithuania, told the Swiss newspaper Le Temps last week that the opposition had lost the streets for now because protesters were unable to counter the force used by the police. On Monday, a court in the Belarusian city of Homiel sentenced 17-year-old Mikita Zalatarou to five years in prison for allegedly experiencing the riots in August. Two other protesters were sentenced to six and eight years, respectively. Authorities are also prosecuting Viktor Babariko, a former bank executive who was arrested on corruption charges that his team said were fabricated to prevent him from running in last year’s presidential election.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media wishes to remind you that the data contained on this website is not necessarily accurate or in real time. All CFDs (stocks, indices, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but by market makers, so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, which means that prices are indicative and not appropriate for commercial purposes. Therefore, Fusion Media assumes no responsibility for any business losses you may incur as a result of the use of this data. Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on information, including data, quotes, charts, and buy / sell signals contained on this website. Be fully informed about the risks and costs associated with trading financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.