German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed hope that the Russian president will not dare to deploy police forces in neighboring Belarus to quell the protests.
According to European Truth, citing the German newspaper Bild, Merkel said this on Friday during her big press conference.
"I hope that such troops will not be used," Merkel said, referring to the so-called "reserve forces" for Belarus, which Vladimir Putin announced the day before.
The head of the German government called on Russia to respect the sovereignty of Belarus. Merkel believes that the people of Belarus should be able to go their own way.
She also stressed that relations with Russia remain "burdened" - in addition to the situation in Belarus and the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Navalny, relations have been strained for years due to Russia's annexation of Ukrainian Crimea and the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal in Britain.
At the same time, Merkel stressed that Russia is "a geostrategic player with which to keep in touch."
On Thursday, August 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that at the request of Alexander Lukashenko, he had prepared a "reserve" of Russian security forces who could be used to suppress the protests.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday warned Russia against interfering in Belarus' internal affairs, and the Lithuanian Foreign Minister did not rule out a Russian invasion of Belarus.
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