Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko suggested creating a trilateral partnership between Belarus, Russia and North Korea, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
“I think that we can think about trilateral cooperation. North Korea, Russia … I know that Koreans have a great interest in cooperation with Russia,” Lukashenko said, as reported by Russian and Belarusian outlets. “I think there will be some work for Belarus. Taking into account the problems that exist.”
Lukashenko traveled to Sochi for a chin-wag with his Russian counterpart on Friday, the seventh meeting between the two leaders this year, according to Russian state-run news agency TASS. The meeting took place only two days after Putin met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in the Vostochny Cosmodrome, in Russia’s far east.
The five-hour summit between Putin and Kim, which included a lavish dinner, concluded without any major announcement, despite concerns the two leaders would discuss and sign an arms deal. But Putin did not rule out military cooperation with North Korea, saying it remains on the agenda.
Speaking to Putin on Friday, Lukashenko said it was “nice to see” him meet with Kim, before touting a Minsk-Moscow-Pyongyang alliance.
Amid Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Putin has found himself isolated on the international stage, searching for allies in unlikely places. But as the aggression grinds on, the Belarusian leader has remained Russia’s ally, hosting the mercenary Wagner Group following its aborted insurrection against Moscow and allowing Putin to station tactical nuclear weapons on its territory.
Western states have condemned Belarus’ involvement in the war on Ukraine, with the European Parliament this week calling Lukashenko “an accomplice” to the crimes committed by Russia.
Source : POLITICO