COVID-19 vaccine ot political turmoil? Fourth telephone talk of Russia, Belarus leaders

On Monday, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has had a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

According to the Belarusian side, the heads of state discussed both domestic situation in Belarus and related developments abroad, ‘especially in the West’.

After the conversation, the Kremlin said that Lukashenka informed Putin ‘about the steps taken to normalise the situation in the country’. Its press office did not mention the supplies of the Russian vaccine to Belarus, but only the fact that the presidents raised the issue of ‘bilateral cooperation in combatting the coronavirus infection’.

Kremlin expresses readiness to help resolve situation in Belarus

Minsk, in turn, claims that Belarus is to be the first country to which the vaccine will be delivered to, and that Belarusians are expected to take part in the tests.

“The heads of state discussed the coronavirus-related issues and agreed that citizens of Belarus will voluntarily take part in the third stage of trials of the Russian vaccine. Belarus will also be the first country to receive this vaccine,” state-run news agency BelTA reports.

It is the fourth talk over the telephone that the two leaders have had Since the outbreak of post-election protests in Belarus. Vladimir Putin was one of the first leaders to congratulate Alyaksandr Lukashenka on winning the elections.

The Kremlin keeps minding its Ps and Qs when oficially commenting on the current protests in Belarus. However, a number of Russian media are hyping on the allegations about the external interference in the affairs of the neighbouring country.

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