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Russia uses Belarus to deepen its cooperation with Iran, mitigate Western sanctions

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka met with Iranian officials in Tehran on March 13 to expand bilateral cooperation and mitigate Western sanctions, the Institute for the Study of War wrote in its report on Monday.

Lukashenka, the Russian dictator’s ally, has met with the top officials of the Islamic Republic, which due to its support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ramping up of its enriched uranium levels has been sliding more and more towards becoming a pariah state.

As reported by Iranian state media, he met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber.

The Lukashenka-Raisi talks brought the fruit of eight cooperation agreements in the spheres of comprehensive cooperation, trade, transportation, agriculture, and culture. The leaders remarked that Belarus and Iran tripled bilateral trade in 2022 compared to 2021.

Raisi called a spade a spade saying that cooperation with Belarus could help both nations to counter Western sanctions. Lukashenka has recently entered the role of Putin’s errand boy flying into various Russia-friendly countries to fix miscellaneous deals. This time he arrived in Teheran in what seems part of the Kremlin’s wider effort to secure continued Iranian support in the face of the sanctions.

Under a purchase agreement finalized on March 11, Iran is to buy Su-35 combat aircraft from Russia indicating that military, political, and economic deals between Tehran and Moscow are continuing to prove mutually beneficial for both parties. The ISW suggested that the Kremlin would likely continue to leverage Lukashenka’s influence to deepen cooperation with Tehran.

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