Belarusian lawmakers said the September 10 decision by the Vilnius government “exceeds the limits of common sense” and is a blatant interference in Belarus’ internal affairs.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been challenged in demonstrations in Belarus for five weeks after being re-elected. Tihanovskaya claims to have won the August 9th presidential election and accuses the Minsk government of electoral fraud in favor of Lukashenko.

The upper house of parliament in Minsk said on Tuesday that Lithuania had violated international law by recognizing Svetlana Tihanovskaya as Belarus’ leader, Reuters reports.

Belarusian parliamentarians said the September 10 decision by the Vilnius government “exceeds the limits of common sense” and is a blatant interference in Belarus’ internal affairs.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been challenged in demonstrations in Belarus for five weeks after being re-elected. Tihanovskaya claims to have won the August 9th presidential election and accuses the Minsk government of electoral fraud in favor of Lukashenko.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya criticized Monday’s meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, whom he described as a “usurper,” AFP reported.

“I regret that you have decided to have a dialogue with a usurper and not with the people of Belarus,” said Svetlana Tihanovskaya in a statement from Lithuania, where she took refuge after the disputed August 9 elections in Belarus.

“I would like to remind Vladimir Putin that anything agreed at the Sochi meeting will remain without legal value. The new government will review all agreements signed by Lukashenko illegally, “she insisted in the text.

Tikhanovskaya claims victory in the August 9th presidential election, accusing the government of rigging the election in favor of Alexander Lukashenko.

Since these elections, the former Soviet republic has been shaken by mass protests demanding the end of Lukashenko’s reign, which has been in power for 26 years.

Former kolkhoz president, Lukashenko leads Belarus with an iron fist and has launched a violent crackdown on protesters.

Brother, brother, but the cheese is for money

The main ally of the political leader in Minsk, Vladimir Putin, wants to unify Russia and Belarus and has accompanied his proposals for military and economic aid with calls for closer integration.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday it would make no exceptions for Minsk over how to repay a $ 1.5 billion loan agreed on Monday by Russian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to Reuters.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the loan would have to be repaid like any other.

He also said that relations between Belarus and Russia remain “close” and “fraternal” and that Moscow wants them to continue.

According to Peskov, the two leaders also discussed energy supplies between their countries, but declined to provide details.

According to analysts, Putin could try to exploit the vulnerability of his Belarusian counterpart to snatch concessions from him, but any agreement that compromises Belarus’ sovereignty and independence is likely to further anger Belarusian protesters.

According to analyst Octavian Milewski, quoted by RFI, Lukashenko can offer concessions in three directions that Russia has wanted for two decades. The first would be to deepen the integration of what the Kremlin calls the “Russia-Belarus common state” and a constitutional reform that would support this geopolitical approach in a timely manner.

The second would be the privatization of giant enterprises that Russia has wanted since the mid-2000s. An example would be the world’s largest producer of potassium, the Belarus Kalii plant, as well as other enterprises in the Belarusian military-technical complex.

And the third is to offer the right to build Russian military bases on the territory of Belarus. Currently, although the two states have a common defense system, with a strong system integrated into Moscow’s military doctrine, Russia has only two military facilities on the territory of Belarus: a radar station (in Hanzavici, Brest region) of Russian space forces and a naval monitoring and communication center (at Vileika, northwest of Minsk) covering the North Atlantic area. Discussions about a Russian military base in Belarus took place sporadically, especially after the annexation of Crimea.

At the same time, Milewski claims, Putin is playing a double game. On the one hand, the Kremlin is aware that Lukashenka is weaker than ever and can now obtain vast concessions from him, on the other hand, the Kremlin cannot rely solely on Lukashenka because of the street it does not control. Or, the hundreds of thousands of Belarusians who take to the streets every Sunday to protest are not controllable by anyone, not even by that small group of opposition leaders who have been exiled or imprisoned in recent weeks, and in the case of a scenario in which Lukashenko he is forced to leave.