Russia’s Putin backs ‘brotherly’ Belarus amid EU pressure
Russia has backed Belarus against foreign interference on Thursday as Vladimir Putin gave Alexander Lukashenko held a virtual meeting aimed at moving the two countries closer together. The two countries signed a new package of measures ranging from energy to defense. The agreements included taxation, banking, industry and agriculture. The agreements follow a plan started in September to form a union state between the two countries.
Russia vowed to provide assistance to the Belarusian people and to help both countries resist interference from external groups in their affairs. The talks gave Lukashenko a boost after an increase in EU sanctions imposed earlier this year. The EU imposed sanctions after Belarus launched a crackdown on opponents to Lukashenko’s 30 year regime. Thousands of protestors have been jailed, and a dissident blogger was arrested after Lukashenko had the plane they were on grounded. Belarus opposition members oppose the new package of measures created with Russia.