German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin have discussed the situation in Belarus over the phone, the press service of the German cabinet said on Tuesday.
"The situation in Belarus following the presidential election on August 9 was discussed. The chancellor stressed that the Belarusian government should refrain from using violence against peaceful protesters, immediately release political prisoners and begin a nationwide dialogue with opposition and society to overcome the crisis," the statement read.
On Monday, Belarusian President Lukashenko said that new elections will be held in the country only after a new constitution is adopted following a referendum.
Mass protests have been taking place in Belarus for over a week now after the results of the August 9 presidential election were announced. According to official results, Lukashenko won over 80 percent of the vote, while his major rival, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, had a bit more than 10%. The Belarusian opposition refused to recognize the results, and people took to the streets demanding a new election.
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