Kremlin confirms help to Lukashenka in face of Western sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the government to consider supporting Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime amid Western sanctions, said the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, RIA Novosti reports.

Lukashenka’s spokeswoman Natallia Eismant earlier said that following a meeting with Putin on July 13, the governments of the two countries were instructed to work out a joint plan to counter the sanctions.

“Indeed, the issues of supporting Belarus against the background of such stifling sanctions, they were on the agenda. Instructions were given to the governments working on this plan,” Peskov said in response to journalists’ questions about who would prepare this plan and what its main parameters were.

On June 21, the EU approved the fourth package of sanctions against Lukashenka’s regime, which included 78 individuals and 8 companies. And on June 24, the EU imposed sectoral sanctions for the first time. Exports and transit of petroleum products, potash fertilizers, and tobacco products are affected. Belarus’ access to the EU financial and banking market was restricted. In addition, European businesses and government agencies are forbidden to trade with Belarus directly or through intermediaries in control technologies of the Internet, dual-use goods, military, and police products.

After the introduction of the new EU sanctions, the Russian Ambassador to Belarus Yevgeny Lukyanov promised the official Minsk full support in this situation. “We will not abandon Belarus. We are allies. Allies do not betray each other. I am not even mentioning the fact that we are two fraternal Slavic peoples,” said the diplomat.