In a telephone name, Putin handed on his regards on Lukashenko’s 66th birthday, in accordance to a press release posted on the official Kremlin web site.

The assertion stated the pair will meet in Moscow in the “coming weeks,” including that they’ve agreed on “further strengthening” relations and “expanding” cooperation between their international locations.

The dialog between the 2 leaders got here as hundreds of individuals took to the streets of the Belarusian capital on Sunday to protest towards the outcomes of the disputed August 9 election.

For their participation in Sunday’s pro-democracy protest, 125 folks had been arrested, in accordance to Russian state information company TASS, citing Belarusian Interior Ministry spokeswoman Olga Chemodanova.

Elsewhere in the town, a video broadcast by native information outlet TUT.BY reveals at the very least eight armored tanks transferring in a convoy.

The footage comes the day after 19 Belarusian journalists had their accreditation to work for the BBC and different overseas media shops eliminated by the authorities, with two Associated Press reporters being deported from the nation on the identical day.

The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) advised CNN that 19 Belarusian journalists had their press licenses revoked on Saturday.

BBC and Associated Press (AP) workers had been among the many reporters affected by the choice.

Charlotte Morgan, the BBC’s Head of Communications, advised CNN: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this stifling of independent journalism.

“We name upon the Belarusian authorities to revoke this determination and permit our journalists to proceed doing their jobs,” Morgan added.

AP also denounced the “blatant assault on press freedom” in a statement seen by CNN, while calling on the Belarusian government to reverse the move.

Journalists deported

The American news agency also said that two of its Moscow-based journalists who had been covering the recent protests in Belarus were deported to Russia on Saturday.

The deportations happened a few days after the Belarusian authorities detained almost 50 journalists, according to the BAJ.

Responding to the arrests, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stated on Twitter on Friday: “I condemn the mass detention of over 50 journalists final night time in Belarus, together with from @BBC, native & worldwide media.”

Of the journalists that were detained, all except four, who refused to hand over their phones, were later released.

The EU will sanction several officials in Belarus for their alleged role in the “fraudulent” presidential election and in the subsequent clampdown against protesters, according to Josep Borrell, the bloc’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

Speaking on Friday, Borrell said: “This designation shall embrace people on the excessive political stage.”

“We as soon as once more categorical our full assist to Belarus’ sovereignty and independence and condemn the violent repression of the Belarusian folks,” he added.

CNN’s James Frater contributed to this report.

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