President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko arrived in Sochi for a meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The talks of the heads of state will be held in a one-on-one format. The topics for the talks between the presidents, as previously reported, maybe the prospects for the development of bilateral relations and the promotion of integration processes within the Union State. Also, Putin and Lukashenko will discuss international issues and joint responses to challenges.
The upcoming meeting of the Russian and Belarusian leaders, which will take place in Sochi, was announced in the Kremlin on 11 September. Also, Lukashenko's visit to Russia on the same day was announced by the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov. He called the information about a possible merger of countries after the meeting of leaders nonsense. According to him, among other topics for discussion, there may be "gas" issues and debts.
Putin discussed the negotiations with the Belarusian presidents at an operational meeting with the country's Security Council.
Lukashenka's visit to Russia will take place against the backdrop of mass protests that have not subsided in Belarus since August 9 after the presidential elections in the republic. According to official data, it was Lukashenka who won the victory, but those who disagreed with the voting results took to the streets of the cities, and his opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaya initiated the creation of a coordinating council for the transfer of power. During the mass protests, protesters clashed with security officials. Detentions were made. Thus, on the eve, more than 400 people were detained at protests in various districts of Minsk.