The European Parliament earlier this week accused Lukashenko of being complicit in Russian war crimes in Ukraine and urged the International Criminal Court to issue a warrant for the Belarusian leader’s arrest. ICC has already issued an arrest warrant for Putin, accusing him of heinous war crimesThe Belarusian leader met Russian President Putin during a summit in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, where the two allies held their seventh in-person meeting this year. File Photo.
Following close on the heels of Kim Jong-un’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week, Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko has expressed interest in creating a trilateral partnership with Russia and North Korea amid speculation that Putin and Kim were negotiating an arms deal to sustain Russia’s war in Ukraine.The Belarusian leader made the remarks during a summit with Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, where the two allies held their seventh in-person meeting this year.I think that we can think about three-way cooperation,” Lukashenko said. “North Korea, Russia. I know that the Koreans have great interest in you. I think that a piece of work can be found there for Belarus as well. Given the problems that exist.”
Earlier this week, Putin and Kim met at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s far east Amur region on Thursday. The well-guarded summit was Kim’s first trip outside North Korea in four years.Negligible details emerged about the talks but Russia was said to be seeking North Korean ammunition despite UN sanctions forbidding arms deals with the Kim regimeThe North Korean leader is believed to be interested in Russian military and aerospace technology, including seeking Russia’s help in launching North Korea’s own spy satellites, and technical assistance with the nation’s ballistic missile programme. North Korea is also seeking food and humanitarian aid due to food shortages that began due to its Covid-19 isolation regime.
President Putin on Friday seemed to deny that Russia was planning to violate the UN sanctions by agreeing to an arms deal with North Korea. “Korea is our neighbour, and we must build good neighbourly relations with our neighbours one way or another,” Putin said during a press conference after his talks with Lukashenko.Yes, there are certain specifics associated with the Korean peninsula. We discuss this openly; we never violate anything; and in this case we are not going to violate anything. But, of course, we will look for opportunities to develop Russian-North Korean relations.”Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesperson, said that no agreements or arms deals had been signed by the two leaders during the visit.
But Kim’s tour itinerary during his ongoing trip to Russia’s far east suggested that military cooperation was on the agenda. On Friday, he inspected a Russian fighter jet factory in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, nearly 4,000 miles east of Moscow, that is under western sanctions. Kim was pictured inspecting the cockpit of a modern Russian Su-57 fighter jet and observed a test flight of a Su-35 jet as well. He will next travel to Russia to view Russia’s Pacific fleet and visit a university and other facilities.
The European Parliament earlier this week accused Lukashenko of being complicit in Russian war crimes in Ukraine and urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue a warrant for the Belarusian leader’s arrest. The ICC has already issued an arrest warrant for Putin, accusing him of heinous war crimes against Ukrainian childrenA resolution adopted by lawmakers in Strasbourg on Wednesday said that Lukashenko had “enabled” Russia’s war in Ukraine and carried “direct responsibility” for the resulting deaths