Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Lukashenko met in pleasant conditions in the skiing paradise around Sochi, and this time the dissolved atmosphere carries a political message.
While there were reports that the European Union was planning to impose more sanctions on Russia after the release of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the presidents of Russia, Vladimir Putin and Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko held a summit in the skiing paradise around Sochi, despite the demands of the international community. The two leading countries in Europe are regime They have imprisoned or forced their main political opponents to emigrate over the past six months, and their police have taken a hard line against the peaceful demonstrators protesting against them.
However, by acting in a skiing paradise near the Black Sea, they have sent a clear message to the European Union: They are as cruel in refusing to Europeans a say in their affairs as they are in rejecting their rude regimes – Explain The Russian-Belarus summit was Henry Foy, the Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times. Foreign policy analysts did not know much about the details of the parties’ negotiations, and it only turned out that they wanted to realign their future relationship system.
Putin wants to deepen relations between the two countries, according to Moscow’s ideas. Lukashenko is in desperate need of Russian investment and commercial cooperation to maintain his power, but he is reluctant to relinquish his sovereignty. There isn’t much new in this, but they both tried to show how good they feel in each other’s company while skiing or ice hockey.
Putin greeted his guest in loose-fitting dress, noting at first that the casual attire also indicated that they wanted to have serious discussions in comfortable conditions. Lukashenko added that inaction also shows that parties in close contact are talking. After discussing it this way, they hide in a ski resort for a short time and go down a smaller slope in front of Putin, followed by Lukashenko, because the arrangement does not matter.
The message to the outside world is that despite domestic political storms in recent months, both are firmly in place, and no one can do anything about it, said Marija Rohava, a researcher at the University of Oslo and an expert on the former Soviet Union. Area. While new sanctions come into effect against their country, their behavior shows that they do not care about it at all, and are relishing the beauty of winter, as autocrats do with full force.
Putin’s behavior toward Lukashenko was in stark contrast to what had characterized the last meeting in September. This came shortly after the Belarusian president was re-elected head of state in scandalous circumstances in early August, in response to which mass protests erupted for his dismissal. At the time, Putin rebuked his colleague for risking his downfall with his harsh response to the protests, which could have resulted in a less friendly regime as Russia came to power in Belarus.
Now in the “business” mood, Lukashenko has spoken of Putin as the friend one can count on in trouble. For this, the Russian president loaned his colleague from Minsk $ 1.5 billion. Meanwhile, he sent a message to illiberal politicians in the former Soviet republics, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, and even to the Turkish leadership. If they hang Sharp with Europe and feel that Brussels has let them down, they can confidently count on Mother Russia with Vladimir Vladimirovich on its head.