Kremlin says it sees no need to help Belarus militarily for now

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Wednesday it saw no need for Russia to help Belarus militarily or otherwise for now amid unrest there over an Aug. 9 presidential election which protesters say was rigged.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in a conference call with reporters, said Belarus itself saw no need for Russian help for now either.

He accused unnamed foreign powers of interfering in Belarus, however, and said that such interference was unacceptable.

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in the last 11 days, braving a crackdown by the authorities, to demand President Alexander Lukashenko resign after he claimed a landslide election victory.

Belarus and Russia are close allies and members of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and, on paper, part of a union state.

When asked about the possibility of Russia offering Belarus military assistance, something the Kremlin has said is available if necessary, Peskov said:

“As far as the collective security treaty and union state treaty are concerned, it is true that there are various obligations between the sides for mutual help, but there is currently no such need.”

He added: “The Belarusian leadership also doesn’t see a need for that.”

Peskov said the situation in Belarus was an internal matter that should be resolved by Belarusians themselves.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Dmitry Antonov; editing by Maria Kiselyova/Andrew Osborn