Europe

Belarus' Lukashenko, Germany's Merkel discuss migrant crisis - report

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Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko (R) welcomes Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting in Minsk, February 11, 2015. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

MOSCOW, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talked by phone, according to a social media post by reporters for Belarus state media on Monday, amid a migrant crisis at the Polish border with the ex-Soviet state.

The posts said the talks lasted around 50 minutes. The leaders discussed the refugee crisis at the border and ways to provide humanitarian aid.

They also spoke about measures to prevent the crisis from escalating. They have agreed to further contacts, the report said.

The talks were the first contact between the Belarusian president and a Western leader since Lukashenko claimed victory in Belarus presidential elections in August 2020, igniting the biggest street protests in the history of the state.

The West is seeking to stop what it says is a policy by Belarus to push migrants towards the European Union to pressure it to end sanctions imposed over Belarus' crackdown on protests last year against Lukashenko's contested re-election. read more

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Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin Editing by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman

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