Lukashenko accuses west of trying to destabilise Belarus

Country’s leader seek to counter international condemnation for grounding of Ryanair jet

“Lukashenko has a compelling argument: Russia and Belarus have a common enemy in the west. Thus, you either support me or you eventually lose Belarus to the west,” said Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. Even so, the Ryanair incident may make Belarus a problematic ally for Russia, said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of political consultancy R. Politik. “It’s one thing when you’re doing an integration project with a country that everyone else respects. It’s another thing where you’re embracing a state that nobody else recognises as legitimate.”

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