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Putin faces tough choice on Belarus: How to sort out Lukashenko without giving ground

September 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has arrived in Sochi, southwest Russia, for one-on-one talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Belarusian state news agency BelTA reported.

(CNN)Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has arrived in Sochi, southwest Russia, for one-on-one talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Belarusian state news agency BelTA reported.

However, whether that agreement ultimately leads to a transition of power, brokered by Russia, or to a more full-throated support for Lukashenko will be a difficult decision for Putin.

For Lukashenko, the inherent weakness of his position means that he may need to exchange ceding greater control of Belarus to Putin in exchange for Russian support that keeps him in power.

All of which means that both leaders may have to reach an agreement through gritted teeth, as Putin concedes that Lukashenko is his least-worst option, while Lukashenko does what it takes to remain in control of his country.

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