Tatiana Parkhalina, the Director of the European Security Centre:
"It is very understandable, because in spite of the personality of President Lukashenko Russia perceives Belarus as an ally. Let's not forget that Russia and Belarus are two integrative parts of the Union, the Union of two countries and for many reasons including economic reasons and political ones, Russia will support the substance of bilateral relations between our country and Belarus.
Many forces in Russia support even the personality of President Lukashenko. You know, after the elections in Belarus, many political forces in our country spoke openly about the necessity of sanctions against the opposition in Belarus, they spoke that the victory of President Lukashenko was very fair and Russia should in the future support the privileged relationship with the regime of Lukashenko.
Not all political forces in Russia deny the style of President Lukashenko, vis-a-vis his opponent and vis-a-vis the opposition. So for, as I said before, for economic reasons, for reasons of a political character Russia will support Belarus in spite of the behavior of President Lukashenko."