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May 24 – May 30, 2021
Belarus-Russia relations

Lukashenka meets Putin, Halouchanka meets Mishustin. Russian aid is meagre

The situation got worse
Lukashenka meets Putin, Halouchanka meets Mishustin. Russian aid is meagre

Following top-level leadership meetings, by the end of June, Belarus will receive the remainder of the Russian loan allocated last year and permission to increase flights to Krasnodar, Sochi and (probably) Crimea as the epidemiological situation eases. Putin also took a boat ride with Lukashenka and his son.

On May 27, the Chairman of the Russian government, Mikhail Mishustin, met with his Belarusian counterpart, Raman Halouchanka, within the framework of the CIS summit. Halouchanka called on Mishustin to compensate Belarus for losses arising from the suspension of international air traffic and attempted to promote the usual Belarusian agenda of greater “mutual” economic support and cheaper energy resources within the CIS.

In response, Mishustin called on CIS heads of government to focus on the pandemic and cooperation in trademark unification, officer training, geodesics and personnel matters. As a result, 10 documents were signed.

Little is known about the agenda of the meeting between Lukashenka and Putin, though immediately prior, Putin chaired a session of the Russian Security Council regarding Belarusian matters. The issue of the forced landing of the Ryanair flight in Minsk and the fate of Sofia Sopega was discussed. Following the meeting, Putin promised to assist with the repatriation of Belarusian citizens stranded abroad by the suspension of flights and release the remainder of last year’s Russian loan, amounting to some $500 million, within six months.

The number of Belarusian flights to Russia will increase; however, flights to specific destinations (Minsk-Moscow, for example) remain on a reciprocal basis so, given that Russian carriers are significantly less expensive, it is uncertain whether this will be to Belavia’s advantage

Unless secret agreements on additional Russian assistance are discovered in the future, the meeting results should be considered discouragingly meagre.

 

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