State TV broadcast an interview of journalist Roman Protasevich in which he said he called for anti-Lukashenko protests last year, a confession the opposition, UK and Germany say was "clearly under duress".
EU also threatened Belarus with more sanctions following the death of a 31-year-old protester who died in the hospital after being allegedly beaten by the police.
Belarus has arrested thousands of people during demonstrations that followed a disputed August 9 presidential election. Rights groups say hundreds of detainees reported being subjected to beatings and other abuse.
Belarusian students, factory workers and pensioners answered a call by exiled opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya to launch a nationwide strike this week — a fresh move to force Lukashenko to hold new elections after months of mass protests.
Belarus has been gripped by unprecedented youth and women-led protests since President Lukashenko claimed victory in an August election.
Protesters have taken to the streets every week since an August vote to demand that President Lukashenko step down and allow for a new election to be held.
President Alexander Lukashenko's government announces that it has drawn up a list of people banned from entering Belarus in retaliation for sanctions on 40 Belarus officials imposed by the European Union.
Belarusian opposition calls for a "civil disobedience campaign" after Alexander Lukashenko took oath as president despite weeks of protests against "rigged election".
Tens of thousands of opposition supporters march in capital Minsk and elsewhere despite authorities deploying a heavy police presence and arresting more than 100 protesters.
Belarusians have been demonstrating against President Lukashenko's disputed re-election for a month, with more than 100,000 people flooding the streets of Minsk for four straight weekends.
Demonstrations broke out in Belarus after Alexander Lukashenko claimed to have defeated opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and won re-election with 80 percent of the vote on August 9.
The visit will be the first to Russia by the Belarusian leader since protests broke out over his disputed election win.
Subscribe to our Youtube channel for all latest in-depth, on the ground reporting from around the world.
Copyright © 2021 TRT World.