Lukashenko invites Russia, EU for talks

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Monday urged all the country’s main political figures, as well as Russia and the EU, to attend a ’round table’ on the situation in the former Soviet republic.

Belarus is facing unprecedented political and economic turmoil, with frequent protests combined with a sharp downturn in living standards. The country’s national currency was devalued by 36 percent earlier this year and foreign currency is almost impossible to come by for ordinary people.

“I have suggested that both the Russian Federation and the European Union, as well as other international structures, send their envoys to participate in this round table,” Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko, who faced international criticism for a clampdown on the opposition after presidential elections in December 2010, said that Belarus is open for dialogue and new ideas.

“Let’s talk and we will reach an understanding,” he said.

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