‘Russia is our elder brother’ Putin and Lukashenko’s Sochi meeting, in brief
Vladimir Putin: We are in favor of the Belarusians sorting out the situation themselves, without any external help. I think that starting work on changing the Belarusian constitution is timely and appropriate. Russia remains committed to all agreements within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Union State, we will fulfill all of our obligations. We will give Belarus a $1.5 billion loan and continue our cooperation in the defense sphere. Belarus will be the first country to receive our coronavirus vaccine. Alexander Grigorievich, I’m glad to see you, welcome.
Alexander Lukashenko: I’ll tell you everything about the situation in Belarus later — however, not everything is as the media says. We have people taking to the streets on weekends, we free part of Minsk for them, so that they can go through. You supported us and I am grateful. A friend in need, this is a lesson for us, for all post-Soviet republics. If someone beyond the western borders is itching [for a fight], we are ready at any moment. No one is allowed to rattle their sabres on the border of the Union State. NATO doesn’t take us into consideration, it conducts military exercises when it wants. So we will too. It’s important for us not to make the mistakes of the Great Patriotic War, when we tried to pacify the enemy. Russia is our elder brother. Our states and our people will always be friendly.
Translation by Eilish Hart
Cover photo: Andrey Stasevich / BelTA / AFP / Scanpix / LETA