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World News

Putin, Belarus leader discuss deepening ties in phone call amid crisis - Kremlin

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko attend a ceremony unveiling a World War Two memorial to the Soviet Soldier near Rzhev in Tver Region, Russia June 30, 2020. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko discussed strengthening bilateral ties in a telephone call on Wednesday, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Lukashenko is facing a weeks-long domestic political crisis in which tens of thousands of Belarusians have regularly taken to the streets of Minsk calling for him to resign. Russia is a traditional ally of Belarus.

Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Matthias Williams

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