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Russia is issuing a $ 500m loan to Belarus while the West imposes sanctions

Russia has approved a $ 500m loan from Belarus and hopes to increase the number of flights between the two countries as the Kremlin has increased its support. Alexander Lukashenko forced to board a flight that criticized the whites.

Russian President Vladimir Putin received Lukashenko in Sochi on Saturday, giving his guest a sea voyage on the Black Sea a day after the two men had talked for more than five hours.

The two-day summit reaffirmed Moscow’s role as a close ally and outspoken foreign ally, and it came as the US entered the EU imposing sanctions against Minsk.

Russia’s support for Lukashenko was in stark contrast to the US-EU decision and could jeopardize preparations for a meeting between Putin and US President Joe Biden in Geneva next month, which he says is a way to establish relations between Moscow and the West.

Belarusian officials they use a bomb to threaten and fighter jet to force a Ryanair flight between Greece and Lithuania to Minsk on May 23, where police were arrested Roman Protasevich, a controversial journalist, who rode.

The move, which Ryanair called a “government-sponsored fraud”, criticized the West.

EU he has forbidden Belarusian government aircraft from Belavia from its airports have pledged to reclaim the country, while Biden on Friday lifted “all obstacles” to nine Belarusian state-owned companies.

The Kremlin has criticized the Western response and, has announced that a $ 500m loan to Minsk will be released by the end of June.

The money represents the second tranche of $ 1bn that Moscow agreed in December to bolster Lukashenko’s finances, which have been affected by his protests against last year’s election fraud scandals, as well as the Covid-19 results.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia and Belarus’ travel agencies would work together to “improve air traffic control” that would allow Belarusians to travel to Russia for the summer holidays and their flight from European countries through Russia, to address EU concerns.

“President Lukashenko announced [Putin] details of the incident on the Ryanair flight, “Peskov told reporters, adding that the talks” were very constructive, satisfying and more “.

The Kremlin has protested as “Russophobia” In the West it is said that Moscow assisted Minsk in the construction of Protasevich or was warned in advance.

The protester initiated a media campaign that described and helped to launch protests against Lukashenko.

Russia this week forced two European planes to withdraw flights to Moscow after failing to approve new plans for a road around Belarus.

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