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Bloom

U.S. Potash Sanctions May Push Belarus Deeper into Putin’s Arms

  • Lukashenko loses potash revenue as Lithuania halts transit
  • Impact on budget may help speed up Russia-Belarus integration

By Evgenia Pismennaya, Yuliya Fedorinova, and Aliaksandr Kudrytski
20 January 2022, 06:00 CET

While Lukashenko hasn’t yet asked Russia for support, the Kremlin expects the Belarusian leader to make an approach for help with budget shortfalls caused by the ban on potash sales, according to two senior Russian officials with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public. Any assistance is likely to be limited, they said.

“Lukashenko is being strangled” by the U.S. sanctions, said Tatiana Stanovaya, a political consultant and founder of R.Politik. Russian President Vladimir Putin “will use the situation to bind Lukashenko even more” closely to Russia, she said.

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