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Lukashenka Says Medvedev's Journalist Meeting 'Senseless'


Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (right) with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (right) with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev

MINSK -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has called Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's meeting with members of the Belarusian media "senseless," RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Medvedev met with the journalists at his residence in Barvikha, near Moscow, on November 23.

He said that Russia has never intended to get involved in Belarus's internal politics, but added that he would not rule out meeting with members of the Belarusian political opposition in the future.

Lukashenka told journalists in Minsk on November 24 that Russian officials have "invited Belarusian journalists that cannot stand the Russian spirit or Russians," adding that the Kremlin "should have at least gotten our advice" on whom to invite.

Independent Belarusian journalist Alyaksey Karol, who was at the meeting with Medvedev, told RFE/RL that state media as well as independent journalists were at the meeting.

He said many of the journalists -- including some of the independent ones -- have relatives in Russia and travel there on a regular basis, making Lukashenka's statement about some of them being unable to "stand the Russian spirit or Russians" inaccurate.

Karol said such a comment is "unexpected" from a man "who is running a country."
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