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Putin visits Lukashenko: Will Belarus take a more active role in the invasion of Ukraine?

Since 2019 that the president of RussiaVladimir Putin, was not visiting Minsk, the capital of belarus. This Monday the 19th he does so within the framework of the war against Ukraine and it is inevitable to imagine that the conversation with his peer Alexander Lukashenko revolved around asking him for help for an invasion that, to date, has not had favorable results. From kyiv he is afraid that he will ask him to let his troops pass and, thus, “open a new front”.

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The relationship between Russia Y belarus is marked by support. As the Reuters agency recalls, in 2020 Lukashenko appeased the pro-democracy protests thanks to “strong support from the Kremlin”. He returned the favor in October of this year, although under the excuse of territorial defense. So both nations joined their armies for tactical exercises.

Today that argument is repeated. According to him Russian Ministry of Defensecountries will do them again, so now Moscow concentrates troops in Belarus. This happens shortly after Valery Zaluzhniy, “the top general of Ukrainedeclared that the Kremlin prepares “200,000 new troops for a major offensive that could be mobilized from the east, south, or even Belarus in January”.

In response, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskovmaintained that although Belarus is his “number one ally”, the accusations of a “special military operation” are “stupid and unfounded fabrications”.

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More sanctions?

In this regard, the international analyst Enrique Banús remember that Lukashenko has already distanced himself from the invasion. Indeed, in October, he stated: “Today there is no war. we don’t need it”.

Banús notes: “It is possible that Lukashenko will let the Russian troops pass into the Ukraine, but I consider it unlikely. On the one hand, he has to be on Russia’s side because if he doesn’t, his dictatorship will end. But, on the other hand, he can’t get very involved because they can apply more to him. economic blockades”.

In fact, some already consider that belarus is an outcast in Europe. For example, in May – and after minsk intercepted the plane where the pedissident journalist Roman Protasevich-, the French foreign minister maintained that his country “Mr. Lukashenko will never recognize the legitimacy of the election”.

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It was not the first time that Belarus had been sanctioned. Before she was punished for the fraudulent 2020 presidential electionwhen Lukashenko retained power.

Get involved in the war against Ukraine it was worth more too individual sanctions (what “affect more than 200 people and entities”), financial (“financing restrictions of some banks” Y “disconnection of several banks from the SWIFT system“) Y economic (prohibition to import certain hydrocarbons and other raw materials).

According to Banús, if Lukashenko decides to get directly involved, he could also have domestic problems.. “The opposition is strong, so you have to be very careful not to lose the support of the military”.

Imagine that it enters the war, which from the military point of view is already a disaster, and that this cracks the support of the Armed forces. It could happen that some officers oppose”.

And without them his regime would quickly crumble.

Source: Elcomercio

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