As disputes raged in Belarus over the dealing with of the weekend’s presidential election, Russia moved swiftly to congratulate President Alexander Lukashenko for his electoral win and press for stronger ties with its neighbor forward of what’s anticipated to be a second night time of protests.
Russia and Belarus are intently linked by language and tradition. Belarus was as soon as a Soviet state and is strategically situated within the middle of Jap Europe, on Russia’s western flank. Lately, Mr. Lukashenko has sought a closer relationship with Europe and the U.S., annoying the Kremlin.
However now Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to detect a chance to re-establish its affect in Belarus by shoring up Mr. Lukashenko after an unprecedented wave of protests following Sunday’s vote. In his message to Belarus’s chief, Mr. Putin mentioned he hoped the 2 international locations would increase their integration, constructing on already sturdy financial and safety ties.
“Putin’s calculus is that as Lukashenko faces a rising problem from the Belarusian inhabitants…he has nowhere to show aside from Moscow,” mentioned Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Middle, a suppose tank. The U.S. to date seems disinterested, whereas a few of Mr. Lukashenko’s personal supporters could be prepared to drop him after 26 years in energy, Mr. Trenin mentioned.
Images: Police Conflict With Protesters in Belarus
As exit polls from Belarus’s presidential election projected veteran chief Alexander Lukashenko to win, riot police clashed with protesters within the capital Minsk
A preliminary depend Monday awarded the veteran chief 80% of the vote, regardless of rising anger over his administration of the struggling economic system and a rising listing of alleged human rights violations. Tens of hundreds of individuals poured into the streets of the capital, Minsk, and different cities, clashing with riot police, after exit polls projected a landslide win for Mr. Lukashenko.