As the United States imposed sanctions on the aircraft diversion scandal, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko held talks for the second day in Sochi.
Russia has agreed to extend a second US$500 million loan to Belarus because Moscow has increased its support for Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, because the West is angry at the grounding of European passenger planes and the arrest of a dissident journalist .
After Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lukashenko held talks on the second day, they announced financial support and invited his guests on a yacht trip in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Saturday.
The money is part of Russia’s $1.5 billion loan promised to Belarus as part of Moscow’s efforts to stabilize its neighbors after massive protests against Lukashenko’s rule for nearly three years broke out last year.
According to RIA Novosti, Minsk received the first payment of US$500 million in October and will receive the second payment before the end of June.
Putin and Lukashenko Two-day summit The European Union and the United States condemned Belarus for using hoax bomb threats to force a Ryanair jet to land in Minsk. The Belarusian authorities sent a fighter jet to escort the plane to land, and then arrested the journalist Roman Protasevich and his Russian citizen partner Sofia Sapega.
Both were jailed for planning large-scale riots. Protasevich can be jailed for up to 15 years.
Several European countries have imposed flight bans on Belarusian Airlines, while the United States stated “Full blockade sanctionsNine state-owned enterprises in Belarus will take effect on June 3. Washington also stated that it is cooperating with the European Union to draft a list of targeted sanctions against key members of the Lukashenko government.
Putin criticized the Western reaction and agreed on Friday that Lukashenko’s reaction was an “emotional explosion.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia also pledged to consider increasing flights with Belarus to offset the impact of the European Union’s flight ban.
Putin and Lukashenko “discussed the organization of air traffic, taking into account the decisions of European authorities and many airlines that cancelled flights. [Belarusian] Airspace, and considering that Belavia is no longer popular in European cities,” Peskov said. “The Ministry of Transport of Russia and Belarus are instructed to organize all aspects of air traffic… Regarding the large number of Belarusians The fact of not returning home in some way. “
Peskov said that Putin also mentioned the topic of Protasevich’s partner Sapega.
“At the initiative of the Russian President, the topic of detained Russian citizens was brought up…Naturally, we are not indifferent to her fate,” Peskov was quoted as saying.
He added that the Kremlin will notice the fact that Sapega also has a residence permit in Belarus.
“Therefore, we proceed from the fact that everything should be carried out within the scope of the law. The President has instructed the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to pay close attention to Russian citizen cases,” Peskov added.