Putin makes uncommon go to to Minsk for talks with Belarus chief


Video Duration 04 minutes 58 seconds

Kyiv below assault: Russia renews strikes

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Minsk for talks together with his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, who allowed Moscow to make use of his nation as a staging floor for its offensive in Ukraine.

Footage broadcast by Russian state tv confirmed Putin disembarking from a aircraft on Monday at a snow-blanketed airport in Minsk and being greeted warmly by his shut ally Lukashenko.

Putin’s journey is his first to Minsk since 2019 – earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic and a wave of anti-government protests in Belarus in 2020, which Lukashenko crushed with sturdy assist from the Kremlin.

“During [these talks], questions will be worked out for further aggression against Ukraine and the broader involvement of the Belarusian armed forces in the operation against Ukraine, in particular in our opinion, also on the ground,” Ukrainian joint forces commander Serhiy Nayev mentioned earlier than Putin’s arrival.

Lukashenko has mentioned repeatedly he has no intention of sending troopers into Ukraine.

More lively position?

The Kremlin dismissed the suggestion that Putin desires to push Belarus right into a extra lively position within the battle.

The RIA Novosti information company quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying such experiences have been “groundless” and “stupid”.

Because of the tense scenario, nevertheless, Putin mentioned he would take the chance to debate army points with Lukashenko.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Belarusian counterpart, Viktor Khrenin, are anticipated to attend the presidential assembly, in response to Minsk.

Russian troopers who moved to Belarus in October will conduct battalion tactical workouts, the Russian Interfax information company reported, citing the Russian Ministry of Defence. It was not instantly clear once they would begin.

Ahead of Putin’s arrival, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov additionally flew to Belarus on Monday for talks.

Lavrov spoke together with his counterpart, Sergei Aleinik, who took up the submit of overseas minister only a few days in the past, concerning the Kremlin’s warfare in opposition to Ukraine, in response to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow.

They additionally mentioned how Russia and Belarus might defend themselves in opposition to political strain from sanctions imposed by the West, its assertion mentioned.

The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentioned Lavrov and Aleinik mentioned sanctions, however it didn’t reference Ukraine.

Interactive - Who Controls What In Ukraine

The 10-month battle in Ukraine is the largest in Europe since World War II. It has killed tens of hundreds of individuals, drove thousands and thousands from their properties and lowered cities to ruins.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned the nation’s armed forces have been holding agency within the city of Bakhmut, scene of the fiercest preventing for a lot of weeks as Russia tries to advance in japanese Ukraine’s Donetsk area.

“The battlefield in Bakhmut is critical,” he mentioned. “We control the town even though the occupiers are doing everything so that no undamaged wall will remain standing.”

Zelenskyy on Monday referred to as on Northern European leaders assembly in Latvia to provide his nation with a variety of weapons methods.

Putin casts what he calls Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine because the second when Moscow lastly stood as much as the US-led West, which he says is searching for to capitalise on the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union to destroy Russia.

Kyiv and the West say that assertion is absurd and Putin has no justification for what they see as an imperial-style warfare of aggression that has put Russia answerable for a couple of fifth of Ukraine.

Moscow mentioned on Monday that Russian and Chinese forces would maintain naval drills from Wednesday to December 27, which would come with missile and artillery fireplace within the East China Sea.

While the drills have been held yearly since 2012, Moscow has sought to strengthen its political, safety and financial hyperlinks with Beijing in current months and sees Chinese President Xi Jinping as a key ally in an anti-West alliance.