July 15. 2024. 7:24

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Putin opens talks with Belarus leader, no public mention of Ukraine


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week the two leaders would discuss Lukashenko’s call for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine. Last month Putin said Russia would deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

"I must say that we have done a lot as a result of our joint work in all areas," Putin told Lukashenko in comments broadcast by state television.

"We will discuss all of this tomorrow — this applies to our cooperation in the international arena and jointly solving questions of ensuring the security of our states."

Moscow is Minsk’s closest political and financial backer. Lukashenko allowed Putin to use the territory of Belarus as a launch pad for the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Russia and Belarus are formally part of a Union State, a borderless union and alliance between the two former Soviet republics. Russia’s pre-war population was around 140 million compared to just 9 million for Belarus.

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