Lukashenko gets $1.5 bln loan from Putin

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Russia and Belarus have a union treaty envisaging close political, economic and military ties, but Lukashenko has repeatedly accused the Kremlin of pressing Belarus to abandon its independence. Belarus has been rocked by five weeks of protests after Lukashenko, who has led the country since 1994, won a landslide victory in the August 9 election. “A friend is in trouble, and I say that sincerely,” Lukashenko told Putin in televised remarks at the start of the meeting. The vote was denounced by EU officials, and forced Lukashenko to look to Moscow for support. Tikhanovskaya, who fled to Lithuania after the vote, won only about 10% to Lukashenko’s 80%, according to the election committee. Human rights activists have repeatedly accused Belarusian riot police of brutally suppressing peaceful marches in the country. “We see Belarus as our closest ally and we will undoubtedly fulfill all our obligations”, Putin told Lukashenko during the talks. The government has denied the claims. Tikhanovskaya described Monday’s loan as Russia “paying for our beatings”. The opposition says that Lukashenko’s main challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, was the rightful winner and wants new elections. “There is a red line, you also know about this, more than I do, you had to make these lines clear in Chechnya when you were a young president”, he added. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has agreed with Belarus’ president Alexander Lukashenko to a $1.5-billion loan for Minsk. Both leaders met in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi for their first face-to-face meeting since Belarus erupted in protest following a disputed election.

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The Belarusian President is on a working visit in Russia. The Belarusian President is on a working visit in Russia. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Lukashenko gets $1.5 bln loan from Putin

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08668770 A handout still image taken from a video footage released by the Russian Presidential Press and Information Office on the official website of the Russian President shows Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) during their meeting in the Black sea resort of Sochi, Russia, 14 September 2020. EPA-EFE/KREMLIN HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

A handout still image taken from a video footage released by the Russian Presidential Press and Information Office on the official website of the Russian President shows Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) during their meeting in the Black sea resort of Sochi, Russia, 14 September 2020. EPA-EFE/KREMLIN HANDOUT
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