Great visit to Belarus: Lukashenko warmly welcomed Putin at Minsk airport on Monday.
Johannes HillickRedaktor news
Alexander Lukashenko (69) couldn’t believe his luck when he hugged Vladimir Putin (70) at Minsk airport. The Kremlin leader arrived in Belarus on Monday. A special occasion.
Lukashenko regularly visits Moscow. Putin was in Belarus three years ago. But he boarded the plane specifically to talk to his partner. But why now? Does Putin Need Help in Ukraine War? What is the background of this visit?
This could be the beginning of a new plan to annex Belarus. Putin’s annexation scenario failed in Ukraine, and now he is gradually trying to take over Belarus,” says Ulrich Schmidt (57), professor of Russian culture and society at the University of St. Gallen.
Lukashenko’s political survival depends on Putin’s support
A state union between Belarus and Russia has existed on paper since 1996. Although Lukashenko initially believed he would gain power as a result, Putin gradually pressured him to relinquish sovereignty. Lukashenko’s power has been massively weakened, especially after mass protests in his home country in 2020.
Schmidt on Bligh: “His political survival depends on Putin’s support.” At the time, the Kremlin sent a gang of thugs to Belarus to help President Lukashenko quell the unrest.
Lukashenko knows it too. “Russia can do it without us, but we can’t do it without them,” he admitted at a press conference after his meeting with Putin in Minsk. However, Schmidt says Putin’s power has also been damaged by the dangerous course of the war in Ukraine. Lukashenko seems to be playing with time and speculating on a post-Putin era.
That is why he had so far refused to support Russia in the war. Lukashenko has repeatedly promised that he does not want to send troops to Ukraine. When Russia and Belarus announced the creation of a joint military unit in mid-October, he insisted that it would serve purely “defensive” purposes.
“There is considerable pressure from the Kremlin”
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, Moscow held military exercises in Belarus. At the beginning of the offensive, Putin’s troops invaded the neighboring country from Belarusian territory. Kyiv has strengthened its defenses along its northern borders with Belarus and Russia.
The Ukrainian government recently expressed fears of a possible Russian attack on Kyiv from Belarusian territory in the first few months of 2023, after Belarus announced the formation of a joint military alliance with Russia in October. For this, thousands of Russian soldiers will be stationed in Belarus.
Schmidt does not believe that Lukashenko can suddenly change his mind. “It is highly unlikely that Belarus will actively enter the war. There is considerable pressure from the Kremlin. But for the Belarusian people and the Belarusian army, Russia’s war in Ukraine is highly undesirable.” Putin also knows that if he doesn’t want to lose Belarus after Ukraine, he shouldn’t overdo it.
“Wannabe pop culture fanatic. Zombie advocate. Entrepreneur. Internet evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Typical travel buff.”
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