Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko held a second day of talks and a cruise ship tour through the southern Russian city of Sochi. Putin said, “Russia and Belarus are long-standing allies and Russia supports Belarus for latest conflict with the West”. Putin and Lukashenko end the day of conversation with a cruise ship tour. A video has emerged in which the two leaders laugh and see dolphins off the coast of Russia.
Russia last year provided a USD 1.5 billion loan to Belarus as part of efforts to stabilize its neighbour. Belarus must receive the second tranche before the end of June. It will resume a second $500 million loan to Belarus next month after two leaders spoke of a passenger plane landing in Minsk.
Putin also raised the Sofia Sapega issue. She is a girlfriend of detained blogger and a Russian citizen. Kremlin said, “Of course we don’t care about her fate. We shall take into account the fact that Sapega also has a Belarusian residence permit”. Moreover, Belarusian President Lukashenko provided extensive information to his Russian counterpart about what exactly happened to the Ryanair flight.
Problems for Belarusians after plane incident
Several western countries accused Belarus of hijacking after Belarusian air traffic control notified a Ryanair (RYA.I) passenger plane pilot about the bomb threat. MiG-29’s were escorting the plane. After landing of Ryanair at the airport, authorities have arrested Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend. He is a blogger and big critic of Lukashenko. West has imposed many restrictions on Belarus and demand to release the detained blogger. They said, they believe in freedom in every sense.
Most of Belarusian neighbours and many other European countries have banned Belarus from flying after the forced landing of a Ryanair plane flying from Greece to Lithuania.
The issue of air travel for Belarusians was raised at a meeting. As quoted by media, Kremlin said that as Russia supports Belarus in all issues, the Moscow and Minsk Ministry of Transportation had been tasked with helping Belarusians currently in Europe to return home.