The Kremlin promised new financial support to Minsk, after the talks between the self-proclaimed president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which took place on Tuesday, July 13, in St. Petersburg.
Putin and Lukashenko meeting, the fourth in 2021, lasted more than five hours. Neither the Belarusian nor the Russian media reported on the amount of the loans. "We agreed on financial assistance in connection with the tax maneuver in Russia," said Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the Russian President.
In addition, according to Peskov, Putin and Lukashenko agreed on several measures for cooperation in "such areas as customs, tax regulation, energy." At the same time, an agreement was reached to maintain the price of Russian gas for Belarus in 2022 at the level of the current year.
Lukashenko said that thanks to Russia, Belarus is holding up well against economic sanctions from Western countries. He called these restrictive measures "terror against the Belarusian people."
On June 24, the EU imposed new sanctions against Minsk. In particular, Brussels banned the import of petroleum products and potash fertilizers from Belarus. In addition, the European Union has imposed restrictions on access to its capital markets. It is also forbidden to provide insurance services to the Belarusian government and state institutions and organizations. The European Investment Bank will stop any financing of projects in the public sector of Belarus.
In a statement, the press service of the EU Council noted that the new sanctions were introduced in response to "the escalation of serious human rights violations in Belarus, violent repression against civil society, the democratic opposition and journalists, as well as the forced landing of the Ryanair plane in Minsk on May 23, 2021, and the subsequent detention of journalist Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega."