Russia: Putin Hosts Lukashenko for Talks on Closer Ties

Source: US News & World Report

“Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday hosted the authoritarian leader of Belarus, who has increasingly relied on Moscow’s support amid increasing tensions with the West. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko thanked Putin for a ‘very serious support from Russia’ and pledged that the country would duly repay its loans. Putin, in turn, praised Belarus as a ‘reliable and stable partner’ during their talks in St. Petersburg. The Belarusian economy, which suffered from the coronavirus pandemic, received a new blow when the European Union has imposed bruising sanctions against some of its top exports over Belarus'[s] [piracy] of a passenger jet on May 23 to arrest an opposition journalist. Lukashenko has denounced the restrictions and announced that Belarus would halt cooperation with the EU on stemming illegal migration in retaliation for bruising economic sanctions.” (07/13/21)