The head of the Russian administration of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, supported the invitation of Alyaksandr Lukashenka to the peninsula, which was announced by Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov.
“When our president and the Foreign Ministry coordinate the visit of the Belarusian leader, we will be glad to receive Alexander Grigorievich in Crimea. Belarus is the closest, brotherly country to us. The representatives of the Belarusian community of Crimea together with the residents of all the nationalities take an active part in the development of the Russian peninsula. I am sure that the President of Belarus will feel at home in Crimea. So will all the citizens of the brotherly country who will want to visit our peninsula. Welcome!” Aksyonov said on Facebook.
The incumbent Belarusian authorities have not yet commented on this.
Russia occupied the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014. Belarus has yet to recognize it as part of Russia. After the last meeting between Lukashenka and Putin, the idea of Belarusian planes flying to Crimea emerged. Ukraine responded by threatening sanctions.
On 3 July, spokesman for the Russian president Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian authorities were waiting for Lukashenka’s visit to Crimea.