MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. A new wave of confrontation between Russia, Belarus and the EU brings Moscow and Minsk closer together, Vladimir Zharikhin, Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS Countries, told TASS on Wednesday.
"Naturally, such a wave of confrontation with Europe brings us closer together. Because a rather tough attack was carried out against us practically at the same time," he said. "I think that the Belarusian side began to understand more clearly who is a friend and who is the enemy."
Commenting on the outcomes of the talks between Russian and Belarusian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, Zharikhin noted that both countries’ leaders might have touched upon the relations with the EU that have become tenser recently. "I think that a significant part of the conversation, of a closed nature, of course, was dedicated to this," he added. The expert stated that it is important for Russia and Belarus to develop a policy on how to behave in this situation.
"Recently, the behavior of European countries when it comes to our countries has been quite unfriendly. Because, to put it frankly, first, there was a provocation by the name of Tikhanovskaya, and then a provocation by the name of Novichok. There were attempts to weaken the current government aimed at both Belarus and Russia," Zharikhin explained.
On February 22, Putin and Lukashenko held a meeting in Sochi, which lasted for over six hours. The leaders held talks in the traditional tete-a-tete format, had dinner together and went skiing. During the public part of the meeting, they discussed the supply of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine to Belarus and industrial cooperation. Putin and Lukashenko stated that the instruments of cooperation between Moscow and Minsk are working well. On February 23, the leaders discussed the topics brought up in Sochi over the phone.