Support The Moscow Times!

News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi. Kremlin.ru

Open arms

Russian President Vladimir Putin noted Russia’s close ties with Belarus as he hosted Alexander Lukashenko in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday and Saturday.

The Kremlin said that Russia has vowed to send Belarus a second $500 million loan in June following the talks — other results of which have not been announced. The Kremlin also said Putin raised the situation concerning Russian citizen Sofia Sapega, who was taken off the diverted Ryanair flight and arrested in Minsk alongside dissident journalist Roman Protasevich.

U.S. sanctions

The United States on Friday announced punitive measures against Belarus, targeting the regime of strongman President Alexander Lukashenko, who met with Putin amid a global outcry over the forced diversion of a European plane.

The White House also issued a "Do Not Travel" warning to U.S. citizens for Belarus, and warned American passenger planes to "exercise extreme caution" if they decide to fly over Belarusian airspace.

CAR blast

A military convoy struck a roadside bomb in the northwest of the conflict-wracked Central African Republic (CAR), leaving two policemen and three Russian paramilitaries dead, the CAR government said Sunday.

Moscow, which wields significant influence in the poor African nation, has since 2018 maintained a large contingent of "instructors" to train the Central African army.

Leaving on a jet plane

The first plane carrying Russian diplomats ordered to leave the Czech Republic following a diplomatic spat last month took off Saturday from Prague airport. The special flight is to be followed by another on Monday, the deadline for 63 Russian embassy employees to leave the Czech Republic.

Prague and Moscow decided to cap the number of diplomats at their respective embassies at 32 in April, following a rift over Russian intelligence services' role in two deadly explosions on Czech soil.

Once in a century

Transport authorities opened the first train station in 100 years near the RZD Arena football stadium in northeastern Moscow.

Vostochny, Moscow’s 10th railway terminal, is part of a transport hub that includes the Cherkizovskaya and Lokomotiv metro stations.

AFP contributed reporting to this article.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.