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April 17 – April 23, 2023
Belarus-Russia relations

A pause while waiting for the response of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

The situation got worse

Lukashenka continues to seek access to the eastern and northern seas to maintain strategic exports. Putin is visiting Russian troops in eastern Ukraine, probably attempting to boost morale ahead of a significant Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Minsk continues to maintain a cooperation policy with Russian regions, especially those with access to the sea. At a meeting with the Governor of St. Petersburg, Alexander Beglov, Lukashenka discussed the construction of ports for Belarusian cargo in Bronka and Murmansk and plans to redirect about 7 million tons of Belarusian cargo. The future capacity of Bronka should rise from about ten to more than twenty million tons per year. Plans are also being drawn to modernise the railways servicing the port.

According to the Kremlin, while Lukashenka spent time with Beglov, Putin visited the Kherson region in southern Ukraine and listened to the reports of field commanders. He allegedly also visited the headquarters of the “Vostok” National Guard in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic and “congratulated the servicemen on the Easter holiday and gave them copies of icons as a gift.” The exact timing of visits was not reported.

The foreign ministries of Russia and Belarus reaffirmed their determination to jointly oppose Western interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states. The declaration was drawn up at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers of Belarus and Russia, Yauhien Shastakou and Alexander Grushko; however, the statement does not contain any obligatory actions.

Union programs and import substitution have stalled. There were no reports or announcements, official or otherwise.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.
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