Putin supports Lukashenko and gives him $1.5 billion

During negotiations with President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that Moscow would give Minsk a loan of $1.5 billion.

Putin also noted that Russia remains the largest investor in the Belarusian economy, that the two countries maintain deep cooperation in many sectors of economy. According to Putin, Russia and Belarus should restore the trade turnover, which dropped in spring and summer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President of Russia also noted that he had many ideas for overcoming a number of problems. He also said that the idea of the new constitution of Belarus came as a logical and timely move. At the same time, Putin stressed that the Belarusians should settle the crisis independently, without any external assistance.

"We know about the proposal to start working on the Constitution of Belarus, I think this is logical and timely," said the Russian leader.

"Russia remains committed to all our agreements, including the agreements arising from the treaty on the Union State and the Collective Security Treaty Organization," Putin stressed at the meeting with Lukashenko.

The talks between the presidents of Russia and Belarus Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko began in Sochi on September 14, the Kremlin press service reports.

This is the first personal meeting of the leaders of the two countries after the presidential election in Belarus on August 9, whited triggered mass protests in the republic.

The meeting between Putin and Lukashenko takes place in Putin's Sochi residence Bocharov Ruchey. No journalists are present at the meeting, no press statements are going to be made as a result of the talks.

Among other things, Putin and Lukashenko will discuss the topic of restructuring Belarus' debt to Russia, integration issues and joint energy projects.

Earlier, it was reported that Vladimir Putin believed that protest actions in Belarus would not lead to  the toppling of Alexander Lukashenko.