Against the background of the international outcry caused by the piracy of the RyanAir aircraft by its regime Belarus, Lukashenko and Putin meet today in Sochi on the Black Sea.
The “state hijacking” has led to a series of measures leading to the international isolation of Minsk, while the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is conducting an investigation into Belarussian energy.
Alexander Lukashenko will be received at the summer residence of the Russian presidentto formally discuss “integration” between their two former Soviet republics and “common, mainly economic, plans,” at least on the Kremlin’s website and broadcast by AMPE.
Although the tone was set yesterday by Sergei Lavrov who warned the West “To stop demonizing those she does not like” and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peshkov, who has endorsed the Belarusian regime’s claims that RyanAir’s plane was diverted due to a bomb threat.
Minsk is heavily financially dependent on Russia, as it owes much of its income to its geographical location as a transit zone between Russia and the European Union. Taking advantage of this geographical location, the Lukashenko has been maneuvering for decades between east and west, sometimes turning to Moscow and sometimes cultivating its relations with the European Union and the United States.
In the current crisis, Russia is rushing to the aid of Belarus, but it is not clear that their interests are converging.
THE Vladimir Putin will probably not be indifferent to the threats of Brussels to impose a new package of sanctions against Minsk, which are likely to affect the passage of Russian gas through Belarus.
Moscow is seeking to expand its sphere of influence in Belarus through the ambitious plan of unification of the two countries. However, the mood of Alexander Lukashenko, who has invested in the iron fist for his survival, is not necessarily favorable to a plan that would undermine his power.