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.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Gleb Stolyarov; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Mark Trevelyan)