During a visit by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Saturday, the latter announced a $500 million loan to Belarus before the end of June.
It was agreed in September that Russia would provide one and a half-billion dollars in loans to Belarus, but the announcement of the second batch came in the wake of the imposition of sanctions by the European Union and the United States on the latter.
The reason behind the one and a half billion dollars agreement are to mitigate the economic damage caused by the protests against the Belarusian president last year. Belarus received the first payment of $ 500 million in October.
As for the reasons for the sanctions, it is forcing the Belarusian civil pilots of the Irish airline Ryanair to land while passing through Belarusian airspace on their way from Greece to Lithuania, to arrest a Belarusian opposition journalist.
The European Union considered this behavior a threat to the safety of European citizens, banning the entry of planes belonging to the official Belarusian airline Belavia to its airports, and the United States on Friday re-imposed a ban on dealing with nine Belarusian state-owned companies.
On the other hand, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that his country is coordinating with Belarus to make Russia a transit country for Belarusian citizens during their movement between their homeland and European Union countries and to facilitate travel for Belarusian citizens wishing to spend their vacations in Russia.