Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Belarus on Monday

Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Belarus, his ally in the conflict in Ukraine, on Monday, the Kremlin and the Belarusian presidential press service announced on Friday. He will meet with his counterpart Alexander Lukashenko at the Independence Palace in Minsk.

In a statement, the Kremlin said the talks will focus on “key issues” in the development of the “strategic partnership” between Minsk and Moscow, including “integration” into the framework of the Russian-Belarusian Union, a supranational alliance. which brings together these two former Soviet republics since 1999. For his part, Alexander Lukashenko, in power since 1994, said that the talks will focus on economic cooperation, but also on “the military and political situation” around the two countries.

The two regimes very close since 2020

He also assured that the independence of Minsk was not compromised, while observers regularly evoke the hypothesis of a merger between the two allies. “Sovereignty and Independence [de la Biélorussie] are unshakable,” said Alexander Lukashenko, during a government meeting, quoted by his press service. “But we will never be Russia’s enemy,” he added.

The two regimes have come very close since 2020 and a vast protest movement against the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko, repressed in Belarus with the blessing of Vladimir Putin, who has become a vital support for the Minsk regime.

The two countries then concluded new cooperation agreements in the economic and military fields. Above all, Belarus has served as a rear base for Russian troops for their offensive in Ukraine, but the Belarusian army has not taken part in the fighting on Ukrainian territory so far. In mid-October, Belarus and Russia had announced the creation of a common military force, for only “defensive” purposes according to Minsk, which claims to be under the threat of Ukrainian attacks. This week, the Belarusian army conducted a surprise inspection of its forces aimed at assessing its combat capabilities.

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