Belarus chief Lukashenko lavishes Putin with reward: ‘Better shape than ever’

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Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has been derided by world leaders as “dangerous” and a “small, feral-eyed man” as he directs the invasion of Ukraine. However don’t inform that to Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko.

In an interview with a Japanese media outlet, Lukashenko – a Putin ally whose nation borders each Russia and Ukraine and was reportedly used as a staging space for the invasion that started Feb. 24 and is now in its fourth week – described the 69-year-old former KGB agent as “a completely sane, healthy person, physically healthy – he’s an athlete.

“As they are saying right here,” Lukashenko added about Putin, “he’ll catch a chilly in any respect our funerals.”

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Lukashenko shared his views with Japan’s TBS television channel, the New York Post reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko take a break during an exhibition ice hockey match in Sochi, Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko take a break throughout an exhibition ice hockey match in Sochi, Russia.
(Reuters)

“Putin is absolutely fit, he’s in better shape than ever,” added the Belarusian chief, 67, who has led the nation since 1994.

Lukashenko additionally claimed to be a detailed, private confidant of Putin’s in addition to a political supporter, the Post reported.

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“He and I haven’t only met as heads of state, we’re on friendly terms,” Lukashenko mentioned, based on the report. “I’m absolutely privy to all his details, as far as possible, both state and personal.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko walk during their meeting at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, proper, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stroll throughout their assembly on the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. 
(Related Press)

The remarks from Lukashenko got here the identical week that Putin appeared at an enormous live performance occasion in Moscow to mark the eighth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea following the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in the course of the Obama administration.

On the rally, Putin claimed the Ukraine invasion was mandatory to forestall a “genocide” in opposition to Ukraine’s Russian-speaking individuals – a declare that Western leaders have flatly rejected, Each day Submit beforehand reported.

As an alternative, leaders within the U.S. and different Western nations declare Putin needs to make Ukraine a part of a revival of the outdated Soviet Union, which collapsed greater than three a long time in the past.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko arrive at the mountain resort of Krasnaya Polyana near the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, proper, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko arrive on the mountain resort of Krasnaya Polyana close to the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. 
(Related Press)

However Putin’s plan has been stalled by an obvious miscalculation of the Ukrainians’ resolve and talent to fend off invading Russian forces, plus an surprising degree of unity within the West’s rejection of the struggle and its help for Ukraine, based on a earlier Each day Submit report.

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Putin just lately was described by U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, as a “small, feral-eyed man” throughout a TV look, and NATO Secretary-Normal Jens Stoltenberg accused the Russian chief of utilizing “dangerous rhetoric” about potential weapon use, the Post reported.

Final week, Lukashenko and his spouse have been listed amongst overseas officers focused by financial sanctions leveled by the Biden administration in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, second left, and Upper House Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, left, visit the Sirius college for gifted children in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, proper, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, second left, and Higher Home Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, left, go to the Sirius faculty for presented youngsters within the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. 
(The Related Press)

Lukashenko was accused of assorted acts of corruption in an announcement from the U.S. Treasury Division.

“Despite coming to power nearly 30 years ago on an anti-corruption platform, [Alexander Lukashenko] … has used his authorities to grant unique privileges and advantages to his associates that could only be offered by the Belarusian state, including, but not limited to, government support, assets, property, amended governmental policies, financial relief, and an acceptance of smuggling of certain goods,” the Treasury Division alleged in an announcement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko leave a joint news conference following their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, proper, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko go away a joint information convention following their talks within the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. 
(Related Press)

Treasury additionally mentioned Lukashenko used his energy over well being inspections and talent to strain landlords to hike up hire to focus on political opponents.

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Lukashenko had beforehand been sanctioned by the U.S. in 2006 and 2021.

Each day Submit’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this story.

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