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17 Aug, 2020 10:14

Will he call for EU to support Yellow Vests? Moscow accuses France’s Macron of hypocrisy after Belarus protest intervention

Will he call for EU to support Yellow Vests? Moscow accuses France’s Macron of hypocrisy after Belarus protest intervention

The Russian Foreign Ministry called Emmanuel Macron a “hypocrite” after he used a Sunday tweet to publicly call for the European Union to “continue to mobilize” on the side of anti-government protesters in Belarus.

The ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, wrote on Facebook on Monday that the French president should call for support for those taking part in protests in the EU, not Belarus, which lies outside of Brussels’ orbit. The landlocked country is a full member of two alliances which serve as alternatives to the EU and NATO in Europe – the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

“When will he call on the European Union to be mobilized in support of hundreds of thousands of ‘Yellow Vests’ demonstrators who peacefully seek to ensure respect for their rights, freedoms and sovereignty?” she said. “When will the European Union stop waiting for calls from presidents of its member states and start to mobilize proactively in support of protests held on its own territory?”

Also on rt.com Minsk protests similar to Moscow & Kiev before them; neoliberals & nationalists calling the shots, socialist voices muffled

“This is what hypocrisy is,” she added. A source in Moscow told RT that the comment also amounted to an open admission that Brussels is already interfering in the crisis, which the Russian government views as concerning. Russia, they said, part of a closely integrated ‘union-state’ with Belarus, has been far more measured with its own official statements.

Macron’s tweet said that “the European Union must continue to mobilize alongside the hundreds of thousands of Belarusians who are demonstrating peacefully for the respect of their rights, their freedom and their sovereignty.” It follows open interference in the crisis from senior politicians in Lithuania, Poland, and the US.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to his embattled Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, twice over the weekend. Notably, the Kremlin’s summaries of both calls referred to concerns about outside meddling in the process, with Sunday’s summary prominently citing “external pressure.”

Belarus’ presidential election took place on Sunday, August 9. According to the official preliminary results, incumbent President Lukashenko received 80.1 percent of the vote, while his main rival, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, garnered 10.12 percent. Many in the country immediately refused to accept the outcome, alleging widespread electoral fraud.

Subsequently, protests erupted in the capital, Minsk and several other cities, leading to clashes between protesters and law enforcement. Tikhanovskaya herself fled to Lithuania and Veronika Tsepkalo, another key opposition figure, went to Russia. The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Josep Borrell, said on August 14 that the bloc did not accept the results of the election. “Work begins on sanctioning those responsible for violence and falsification,” he added.

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