JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Backs Lukashenko as Belarus Leader Vows Closer Ties” – AFP

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“… Putin on Monday backed embattled … Lukashenko[,] …. [who] thanked Putin for his support and vowed to stick closer to ‘elder brother’ Moscow during … talks at … [Putin’s Sochi] residence …. [Lukashenko’s] first foreign trip since his disputed [election] win … prompted mass protests against [Lukashenko’s] rule …. Putin appeared to endorse Lukashenko’s political future, praising … plans for constitutional changes[,] Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov… offer[ing] … a government loan of $1.5 billion and call[ ing] for more [bilateral] trade …. Russia dwarfs Belarus, … population … 9.5 million, and provides it with cheap fuel. Belarus is [a] strategically important … buffer zone[] bordered … by [the] EU and NATO ….”

Click here for: “Putin Backs Lukashenko as Belarus Leader Vows Closer Ties” – AFP