Putin holds security talks with Lukashenko in Minsk


On his second foreign trip since starting a fifth term in office, Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited his Belarusian counterpart and close ally Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk.

The two authoritarian rulers discussed security issues in the Belarus capital Minsk on Thursday evening, state media in both countries reported.

A further meeting on Friday focussed on economic cooperation between the neighbours.

Putin, 71, included exercises of his army with tactical nuclear weapons among the issues covered, and said Belarusian soldiers would also take part in a second phase of manoeuvres.

Russia has stationed tactical nuclear warheads with delivery systems in Belarus in an apparent move to deter Western countries from providing greater military support to Ukraine.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, with its forces also attacking from Belarus with Lukashenko’s support.

According to the Belarusian agency BELTA, 69-year-old Lukashenko said Minsk and Moscow were adhering to their course of deeper integration.

Lukashenko has become increasingly dependent on Putin since it was only with Russian help that he held onto power following falsifications in the 2020 presidential election and mass protests.

Putin began his fifth term of office at the beginning of May and visited China on his first trip abroad. After Belarus, he is expected to visit the Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan on Sunday and Monday.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, receives Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Palace of Independence in Minsk. -/Kremlin/dpa

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, receives Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Palace of Independence in Minsk. -/Kremlin/dpa

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, hold a joint statement following their meeting at the Palace of Independence in Minsk. -/Kremlin/dpaRussian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, hold a joint statement following their meeting at the Palace of Independence in Minsk. -/Kremlin/dpa

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, hold a joint statement following their meeting at the Palace of Independence in Minsk. -/Kremlin/dpa

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends a joint statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the Palace of Independence in Minsk. -/Kremlin/dpaBelarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends a joint statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the Palace of Independence in Minsk. -/Kremlin/dpa

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends a joint statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the Palace of Independence in Minsk. -/Kremlin/dpa



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