Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko held talks at the Russian president’s residence in Krasnaya Polyana.
Alexander Lukashenko flew to visit Vladimir Putin against the background of the final end of protests in both countries.
Ask for money, negotiate integration – analysts did not skimp on forecasts.
Correspondent.net collected information about the meeting.
A long conversation
The last time Putin and Lukashenko met was in September 2020, a month after the presidential election in Belarus, which led to thousands of protests. That meeting also took place in Sochi.
This time, during the open part of the conversation, the politicians discussed economic issues and the situation with the coronavirus. In particular, Lukashenko thanked Putin for helping the Belarusian economy and expressed confidence that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine was the most effective in the world.
The meeting also raised the issue of resumption of road traffic across the border between Russia and Belarus – it is expected to open by summer.
Russian President Dmitry Peskov’s spokesman suggested that the meeting with Lukashenko would take “virtually a whole day.”
Belarusian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Makei clarified that the issues of integration will be considered in the conversation, but the topic of a new Russian loan to Minsk for $ 3 billion from the balance of funds allocated by Russia for the construction of the Belarusian NPP is not ruled out.
“At the end of last year, several important issues were resolved – about payments for BelNPP, Minsk received a loan from Russia, agreements on oil and gas supplies to Belarus for 2021 were signed without any problems. But now the parties are forming a new order,” said the head of the Minsk center. on the problems of European integration Yuri Shevtsov.
Now, according to Shevtsov, the very fact of the meeting at such a level is needed, which seems to emphasize Belarus’ exit from the six-month political crisis.
What to do with Lukashenko
Russia believes that the Kremlin is now thinking about the future of Lukashenko.
“There is an understanding that Lukashenko will not go anywhere, so the question is how to do it. And it is unclear how much (money) should be given to the Belarusian people to fall in love with Lukashenko again,” said Russian expert Andrei Suzdaltsev.
The Kremlin’s task is to control key decisions in Belarus to a much greater extent than today, experts say. But Lukashenko is simply not going to hand over power to anyone, not even Putin.
Suzdaltsev believes that the situation in Lukashenko is difficult now, as he did not offer Moscow anything new: “On the one hand, he will explain that he has nothing to go, because everyone in Belarus loves him and he created a Constitutional Commission, on the other – will ask more money. For security officers, they are always with him, for the economy and social sphere – for some reason not. “
Lukashenko himself said that he was going to Sochi “not to ask for something, there are more important issues” – to ensure defense and security.
While political scientists speculated about big politics, Lukashenko and Putin went skiing and snowmobiling.
Against the background of sanctions
The meeting between Putin and Lukashenko took place against the background of news about the strengthening of Western sanctions against the countries. The European Union will impose sanctions on the heads of four Russian agencies in connection with the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was sentenced to prison.
In particular, the sanctions will cover the head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Alexander Bastrykin, Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, the head of the Rosguard Viktor Zolotov and the head of the Federal Penitentiary Service Alexander Kalashnikov.
As for Belarus, the European Union is considering tightening sanctions against Belarusian officials involved in the crackdown on protesters in Belarus, civil society and journalists.
The EU sanctions list already includes 84 people and seven institutions responsible for violence and repression against the Belarusian people and the rigging of the presidential election.
“We are ready to go further and we will do it. The EU Council technical group is working on it. Sanctions are a difficult process, as we need to make sure that events have taken place that need our response and that those people have been involved. which we intend to impose sanctions. Because these measures can be contradictory and can be challenged in court, “said EU High Representative Joseph Borrell.
Although, for example, the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Svitlana Tikhanovska, considers European sanctions against the Lukashenko regime a mockery that does not bother Father at all.
#skiing #Meeting #Putin #Lukashenko