As domestic and international pressure builds on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to leave office, Russia has been left with a difficult choice to back to the embattled leader. FRANCE 24 correspondent Gulliver Cragg says while there are clear disadvantages for Russia’s Vladimir Putin to back Alexander Lukashenko, the Russian leader might not have the same leverage he currently enjoys over a future leader of the country.
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In This Story: Alexander Lukashenko
Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko or Alyaksandr Ryhoravich Lukashenka is a Belarusian politician, who has served as president of Belarus since the establishment of the office 26 years ago, on 20 July 1994.
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In This Story: France
France is a republic and the largest Western European nation. Through expansion and colonisation in the 17th and 18th centuries France became a great power and still retains territories around the world. It has a seat on the UN security council and is the world’s fourth most wealthy country with a high standard of living and strong cultural identity.
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In This Story: Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician and a former officer of the KGB who has served as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 1999 until 2008. He was also the Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.
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In This Story: Russia
Russia spans more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, stretching eleven time zones, and bordering 16 sovereign nations. Moscow is the country’s capital.
The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 and since 1993 Russia been governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia is a major great power, with the world’s second-most powerful military, and the fourth-highest military expenditure. As a recognised nuclear-weapon state, the country possesses the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.