While mass protests in Belarus continue unabated, President Lukashenko traveled to Sochi this Monday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Whether they are making plans there to jointly suppress the opposition вЂ” or alternative scenarios have long been at the ready in Putin's drawer вЂ” the European press is discussing all these topics.
Putin prepared in advance
The editor-in-chief of the Rzeczpospolita newspaper Boguslav Khrabota believes that Putin is preparing for an era without Lukashenko:
вЂњThere is no doubt that the keys to the presidential palace in Minsk are kept in a drawer in the Kremlin. I doubt that Putin believes that without Lukashenko, Russian influence in Belarus will end. Of course, Vladimir Vladimirovich has prepared other scenarios as well. Proof of this is the growing number of anonymous вЂњgreen menвЂќ driving cars without license plates on the roads of Belarus. How soon will these people take off their balaclavas and bring the rebellious country under their control? And will Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Svetlana Aleksievich, or someone else be invited to the talks? In all likelihood, we will find out the answers to these questions in the fall.вЂќ
Please, no wars!
As the Times of Malta notes, one would like to hope that Belarus will not become a victim of the interests of the West and Russia:
вЂњBelarus should not turn into another foothold where Russia and the West are fighting for their interests. And this is the decisive factor. During the Second World War, which is called the Great Patriotic War in the countries of the former Soviet Union, thousands of villages and settlements were destroyed here. 25 percent of the population of Belarus died during the war, and 85 percent of the capital of the republic, the city of Minsk, was razed to the ground. Many Belarusians fear that something like this could happen again.вЂќ