‘You’re looking tired Vlad’: Putin shrugs as Lukashenko tells Russian despot he looks jaded – before the strongmen share a ‘manly hug’
- ‘Are you okay? Looking tired,’ Alexander Lukashenko questioned Vladimir Putin
- Both men steered clear of mentioning the war in Ukraine at the initial meeting
Lukashenko towered over his warmongering ally as he greeted Putin with something approaching a bear hug.
He has arrived at the Kremlin in Moscow for two days of talks on further expanding ties between their countries. Last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the two leaders would discuss Lukashenko’s call for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine during the visit.
Lukashenko towered over his warmongering ally as he greeted Putin with something of a bear hug
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) sits with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko during a meeting at the Kremlin on Wednesday
Greeting Putin, 70, despot Lukashenko told the Russian that he was ‘looking tired’.
The Minsk dictator questioned the Russian President: ‘Are you OK? Looking tired.’
Putin responded with a shrug.
‘I am saying to you, a tired president,’ Lukashenko repeated again.
The Belarusian then berated Putin’s entourage and claimed they were not looking after his fellow despot.
Putin tried to quell Lukashenko’s outburst. ‘It’s OK, got to work a bit,’ he said.
Putin also told Lukashenko in comments broadcast by state television: ‘I must say that we have done a lot as a result of our joint work in all areas.’
‘We will discuss all of this tomorrow – this applies to our cooperation in the international arena and jointly solving questions of ensuring the security of our states.’
Moscow is Minsk’s closest political and financial backer. Lukashenko allowed Putin to use the territory of Belarus as a launch pad for the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Greeting Putin, despot Lukashenko told Putin that he was ‘looking tired’
Putin welcomed Lukashenko to Moscow on Wednesday
Putin said last month that Russia planned to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, its neighbor and ally. The announcement marked another attempt by the Russian leader to dangle the nuclear threat to discourage the West from supporting Ukraine.
Putin has said that construction of storage facilities for tactical nuclear weapons would be completed in Belarus by the start of July. Russia also has helped modernise Belarusian warplanes to make them capable of carrying nuclear weapons and provided the country that borders Ukraine with Iskander short-range missiles that could carry a nuclear warhead, he said.
Russia and Belarus are formally part of a Union State, a borderless union and alliance between the two former Soviet republics. Russia’s pre-war population was around 140 million compared to just 9 million for Belarus.
Earlier as Lukashenko arrived in Moscow, he looked visibly in pain as he walked down the steps of his presidential plane.