Belarus-Abkhazia: The Start Of A Beatiful Friendship?

Pressured by Moscow to recognize breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, Belarussian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka dispatched an official delegation to Sukhumi, the Abkhaz capital.

The official website of the unrecognized state reported that the head of Belarus' presidential administration, Uladzimir Makei, and presidential aide Mikalai Korbut met de-facto Abkhaz president Sergei Bagapsh on May 12 to discuss ties between Minsk and Sukhumi. It did not elaborate.

Lukashenka's administration also remains tight-lipped about the visit. The Belarussian news service Khartiya reported that lawmakers in Minsk are still mulling over whether or not to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In April, Belarussian Parliamentary Speaker Uladzimir Andreichnaka instructed MPs to "study the political and economic consequences" of recognition.

Moscow has used its economic and political muscle to pressure Minsk into recognizing the two Russian protectorates, but, so far, without result. The pressure has been countered by threats from the European Union that such a move would bring serious consequences for ties between the Brussels and Belarus.



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