Putin tells Macron exerting pressure on Belarusian leadership would be unacceptable: Kremlin

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron leave after a news conference in St. Petersburg, Russia May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that interference in the internal affairs of Belarus or exerting pressure on the country’s leadership would be unacceptable, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

Putin’s remarks in a phone call with Macron echoed earlier comments made to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Alexander Lukashenko, the leader of Belarus, on Tuesday awarded medals “for impeccable service” to law enforcement officials who have helped him crack down on protesters who have been demanding he step down for the last 10 days.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Alexander Marrow