As the Kremlin increases its support for Belarus, Russia has agreed to provide Belarus with a credit of US$500 million and hopes to increase the number of flights between the two countries. Alexander Lukashenko After he made a forced landing of a passenger plane that was condemned by the West.
Russian President Vladimir Putin received Lukashenko in Sochi on Saturday. The day after the two had a meeting for more than five hours, he invited his guests to the Black Sea for a yachting trip. trip.
The two-day summit emphasized Moscow’s position as the most intimate and reliable foreign ally of the troubled dictator, and it was held on the occasion of the United States’ accession to the European Union. Impose sanctions To Minsk.
Russia’s support for Lukashenko contrasts sharply with the condemnation of the United States and the European Union, and may complicate the preparations for Putin’s and U.S. President Joe Biden’s summit in Geneva next month, which is called Moscow-Western relations Efforts to normalize.
Belarusian authorities Bomb threat On May 23, a fighter jet forced a Ryanair flight between Greece and Lithuania to diverted to Minsk and was subsequently detained by the police Roman Protasevich, A leading dissident journalist, he was on board.
Ryanair’s shameless move described it as “state-supported piracy” has aroused condemnation from Western countries.
European Union Already banned Belarusian state-owned airline Belavia took off from its airport and promised to impose additional sanctions on the country, while Biden re-imposed “total blockade sanctions” on nine Belarusian state-owned companies on Friday.
The Kremlin criticized the Western response and announced the postponement of a $500 million loan to Minsk to be issued at the end of June.
The money is the second part of a $1 billion financial plan that Moscow agreed to support Lukashenko’s financial situation in December last year. The plan was affected by last year’s large-scale protests against its fraudulent election victory and the impact of Covid-19.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian and Belarusian Ministry of Transport will jointly “organize air transport” to allow Belarusians to travel to Russia during summer vacation and fly home from European countries via Russia, offsetting the impact of the EU’s ban on flights. .
“President Lukashenko notified [Putin] Learn more about what happened to the Ryanair plane,” Peskov told reporters, adding that the talks were “very constructive and informative.”
The Kremlin has dismissed “Russian Phobia” The West claimed that Moscow had received advance warnings for assisting Minsk in arresting Protasevich.
Dissidents set up a media channel to report on and help coordinate protests against Lukashenko.
Russia this week forced at least two European airlines to cancel flights to Moscow because it failed to approve a new flight plan involving a bypass in Belarus.