There is a well-known saying. Watch what people do, not what they say. Kazakhstan has resisted helping Moscow during the war. They are acting like the independent state they are. Alexandr Lukashenka, President of Belarus, is another story.
Russia used the territory to launch the northern offensive into Kyiv. He is still acting as if he is a tight buddy of Moscow, so this post on telegram came as a surprise.
It seems he is playing both sides.
Just two knives in the back of Moscow: Belarus and Kazakhstan stop letting Russian coal through without waiting for the start of European sanctions
In early April, the EU imposed an embargo on Russian coal, but only from August 2022. However, Russia’s closest allies are in a hurry to implement the ban on European bureaucrats.
Since mid-April, Belarus has banned the transit of Russian coal through its territory. Corresponding telegrams of the Russian and Belarusian railways are published by the portal “Red Button” of a journalist from Kemerovo Natalia Zubkova.
Kazakhstan also introduced a similar ban, blocking 1,700 wagons with coal on its territory, according to a MO source familiar with the situation in the coal industry.
Putin’s main interlocutor at SPIEF, President of Kazakhstan Tokaev, by the way, is increasingly disloyal: in St. Petersburg, he said that he does not recognize the LPR and DPR. For Putin, the new problem with coal is all the more unpleasant because, as it turned out, the key companies in the industry are owned by his relatives.
Now, Russia needs that money to fund a war. Vladimir Putin also needs the money to keep flowing to his allies within Russia. They are still skimming from the top and don’t give a hoot about the Russian people. They never have; why would they start now?
Lukashenka is in a special place. His presidency depends on Moscow. So any sign of rebellion is of note. Every so often, he seems to show signs that he will order the army in. This ties Ukrainian forces in place. This is why this little rebellion over coal matters.
He is seen by many Belorussian citizens as illegitimate. This goes for European governments as well as the US. He lost the election but still was sworn in:
Riot troops used truncheons and a water cannon and detained dozens of protesters as clashes escalated in Minsk and other cities following…