In Belarus, resistance activists are under increasing stress as the nation marks a month since the beginning of massive protests against President Alexander Lukashenko.
Efforts to quell the demonstrations have gone nowhere – today Lukashenko is seeking to Moscow for assistance.
This trip his”elder brother”, as Lukashenko recently called President Putin, will be his first overseas trip after the elections. Putin was the first one to congratulate Lukashenko after he announced victory and it is apparent the Kremlin will not hold discussions with all the Belarus opposition.
But economists say that in reality talks in Moscow are likely to be quite tough. Why? Their principal objective is to go over the cost that Lukashenko will need to pay for Russian assistance.
And President Putin is expected to request a lot.
“Russia is only waiting for him to open his arms to be compliant so it would be possible to compose a roadmap for integration, absolute absorption (of Belarus from Russia),” says Andrei Kolesnikov of the Moscow Carnegie Center.
“We will need to know that, I don’t know if Lukashenko knows that today, that, of course, Moscow wants to see somebody like Lukashenko in his location, but of a modern kind, much more accommodating, actually – a puppet. Even cornered, Lukashenko does not appear like a puppet, he’s too unpredictable. This is a huge problem for Moscow.”
It needs to behave in another manner.
“Lukashenko has been very effective in directing the Kremlin and Putin personally from the nose, but the Kremlin considers he was pinned to the walls,” political analyst Valery Solovei informed Euronews.
“Putin wants to obtain control over Belarus, he isn’t too enthusiastic about Lukashenko. The Kremlin would love to fully economically absorb Belarus. In other words, it can continue being a sovereign nation, but by the Kremlin, it must drop economic sovereignty.”
So while Alexander Lukashenko would like to maintain the energy, Vladimir Putin, analysts say he wants him to deliver a massive portion of the ability to Russia. Turbulent times ahead — for brothers.