World News

Russia accuses Ukraine over crisis in Belarus, says it won't engage with opposition council

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei walk during a meeting in Moscow, Russia September 2, 2020. Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Ukraine of fomenting trouble in neighbouring Belarus, and said Moscow saw no point in engaging with a Belarusian opposition council that has emerged amid nationwide anti-government protests.

Lavrov, speaking in Moscow after talks with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, said 200 trained Ukrainian extremists were inside Belarus trying to destabilise the country.

The protest erupted after an Aug. 9 presidential election marred by allegations of election rigging. Russia is a close ally of Belarus.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn and Maria Kiselyova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by John Stonestreet