A total of $ 1.5 billion for the depleted public coffers of Belarus with those who try to silence the popular discontent. One day after a new mass demonstration in the streets of Minsk showed that the dissident spirit is still very much alive in the Slavic country, President Aleksándr Lukashenko has traveled to Sochi, on the shores of the Black Sea, to meet with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, where he has received renewed promises from the Kremlin to political support, economic and even military.
Traditionally, the Minsk Government has silenced the protests after the electoral calls by resorting to the subsidiesAlthough on this occasion, after the ravages caused by the coronavirus epidemic, the room for maneuver was non-existent. In addition to financial support, Putin has indicated that defense cooperation would continue, although he has not offered details. Hours before the visit, the Russian press had reported that Russian paratroopers would travel to the neighboring country to do joint military exercises.
On the political front, the Russian president has backed Lukashenko’s proposal to start a Constitutional reform, a process similar to that experienced by Russia during the spring and that will allow Putin to continue at the helm of the state until 2036 if that is his wish. The opposition reject outright the approach and requires the convocation of new presidential elections. All of this, as all the Russian interlocutors with whom the Belarusian leader has met, have been reiterating, has a price: “We want the Belarusians, no pressure from abroad, resolve the situation, “Putin stressed.
Cascade of accolades
For his part, Lukashenko has repeated the scene lived two weeks ago in Minsk when he met with the Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin, and he has not spared in praise for the neighboring country, whose government, just a few weeks ago, he accused of wanting to overthrow him. “First of all, I want to personally thank you and all the Russians who have participated in supporting us in this post-election period, and I will not list them,” he praised.