Russian President Putin and Belarusian Leader Lukashenko Hold Talks on Regional Security
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian Leader Alexander Lukashenko Hold Talks
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, met in St. Petersburg to discuss various issues, including regional security. Putin expressed the importance of the meeting by rearranging his schedule to allow for two days of talks.
Failed Counterattack and Situation with Wagner Fighters
During the meeting, Putin dismissed claims of a counterattack by Kiev and stated that the attack had failed. Lukashenko, who played a key role in ending a revolt by Russian Wagner mercenaries last month, confirmed that his country was now “taking control” of the situation with the Wagner fighters. He limited their activities to the center of Belarus.
Concerns and Accusations
The presence of Wagner fighters in Belarus has raised concerns in neighboring Poland, a member of the European Union and NATO. Both Putin and Lukashenko accused Poland of having territorial ambitions over Ukraine and Belarus. Lukashenko even issued a veiled threat, mentioning the Wagner fighters’ desire to travel to Warsaw but emphasizing that they would remain in central Belarus as agreed.
Defending Belarus and Controversial Remarks
Lukashenko thanked Putin for his commitment to defend Belarus in case of an attack. This statement followed Putin’s controversial remarks about western Poland being a gift from Stalin. Lukashenko accused Poland of attempting to “steal a western part” from Ukraine and claimed that he had presented a map to Poland, outlining the movement of its armed forces to the borders of the Union State.
Tour and Popular Support
After their talks, Putin and Lukashenko visited the town and naval base of Kronstadt on Kotlin Island, where they interacted with crowds and took pictures. This public appearance follows Putin’s recent visit to Dagestan, where he received an enthusiastic reception.
Importance of People Amidst the Epidemic
When asked about his strict adherence to quarantine rules during the COVID-19 pandemic, Putin emphasized that people’s well-being was more important than quarantine measures.