Russian President Vladimir Putin provided Belarus counterpart Alexander Lukashenko his help on Friday within the midst of the authoritarian chief”s conflict with the West over the grounding of a Ryanair flight and subsequent arrest of dissident journalist Roman Protasevich on Sunday.
Lukashenko’s regime has been accused of getting the Ryanair flight diverted to Minsk below the guise of a bomb menace in a bid to arrest the journalist, an outspoken opponent of Belarus’s management.
Regardless of widespread worldwide condemnation of the incident, Putin, a detailed ally of Lukashenko’s, gave the Belarusian chief his backing as he welcomed him for talks in Sochi.
The Russian chief stated he agreed that the West’s response to the incident on Sunday was an “outburst of emotion”, based on Reuters.
“At one time they pressured the Bolivian president’s aircraft to land and took him out of the aircraft and nothing, silence,” stated Putin, in a reference to a 2013 incident that noticed Evo Morales’ aircraft pressured to land in Austria amid efforts to trace down whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Friday’s talks had been deliberate earlier than Sunday’s incident unfolded. Nevertheless, Putin’s remarks appeared to defend Belarus’s actions as EU nations impose flight bans and take into account additional sanctions over the ordeal.
Lukashenko steered that he had paperwork on the Ryanair incident that will assist the Russian chief see extra clearly what had unfolded that day.
“There may be all the time somebody who causes issues for us. You recognize about them, I am going to inform you,” Lukashenko advised Putin. “I introduced some paperwork so that you simply perceive what is going on,” he stated.
Within the midst of the disaster unfolding round Lukashenko, each world leaders appeared calm, with Putin suggesting that he and his Belarus counterpart go for a swim within the sea.
On Wednesday, the Belarusian chief steered that his counterparts within the US and Russia go to him in Minsk to debate the “all the issues” unfolding.
“I’ll meet them each correctly. We are going to sit and talk about all the issues,” he stated earlier than parliament.
Showing to make gentle of US President Joe Biden’s condemnation of Sunday’s occasions, Lukashenko joked that if Biden does go to, he’ll “hear even to all of the imply issues that (White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki) will write him to inform me”.
“We may have an sincere dialogue,” he stated.
Lukashenko additionally appeared to joke in regards to the Ryanair incident itself, asserting that Biden “may take a danger – we are able to simply land a aircraft, we’ve got a runway” – a remark that was met with laughter and applause.
The authoritarian chief accused the West of waging a “hybrid conflict” in opposition to him, whereas he accused his “ill-wishers’ of getting “crossed too many crimson traces”.