Russia's Medvedev congratulates Belarus President Lukashenko on reelection

The Kremlin press office confirmed on Saturday that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had congratulated his Belarusian colleague Alexander Lukashenko with reelection.

"Considering the official figures published by the Belarusian Central Election Commission and a report by Chairman of the Russian Central Election Commission Vladimir Churov on the conclusions by observers, this (congratulatory) letter was sent," Natalia Timakova, press secretary of the Russian president, said.

"I wish you success and I wish the Belarusian people peace and prosperity," said the congratulatory letter published by Belarus' state news agency BELTA with reference to the press office of the president of Belarus.

Belarus' Central Election Commission officially announced on Friday that Lukashenko won the December 19 presidential election.

According to the final results of the polls, Lukashenko gained 79.65% of the vote, while his closest challenger Andrei Sannikov received 2.43%.

Lukashenko, 56, has ruled Belarus with an iron rod since 1994 and has been dubbed by the United States "Europe's last dictator" for a clampdown on opposition and dissent. International monitors said the election was "flawed."

More than 600 people were detained in the Belarusian capital during a police crackdown on demonstrators after the presidential vote that the opposition said had been rigged.

MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti)


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