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Putin tells Belarusian leader Lukashenko Russia ready to help militarily if necessary

FILE PHOTO: Russia's President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during the Victory Day Parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, June 24, 2020. Host photo agency/Sergey Guneev via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko in a phone call on Sunday that Moscow stood ready to provide help in accordance with a collective military pact if necessary, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The Kremlin said in the same statement that external pressure was being applied to Belarus. It did not say by who.

Belarus has been rocked by a week of street protests after protesters accused Lukashenko of rigging a presidential election last Sunday.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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