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Ilham Aliyev supports Lukashenko

By Messenger Staff
Monday, July 5
On June 21 Belarus PM Sergey Sidorsky applied to Azeri PM Artur Rasizade for a short loan. Azeri President Heidar Aliyev instructed the Azerbaijan Government to issue a USD 200 million 12 day loan to Belarus to cover its debt to Gazprom.

Lukashenko has several times repeated that its friends have helped Belarus cover the debt whereas Russia was unwilling to give it even a few days grace in making the payment. Azeri political analyst Ikret Sadikhov thinks that Russia is not happy with Belarus giving shelter to ex-Kyrgyz President Bakiev. Fellow analyst Rasim Akaev thinks that supporting Belarus means Azerbaijan is confirming its own independence and resolving certain geopolitical issues and to maintain its friendship with Belarus.

On June 23 Belarus paid 187 million to Gazprom whereas Gazprom itself paid Belarus 228 million for transiting Russian gas to the West. On July 1 Belarus returned the above mentioned 200 million to Azerbaijan. The Azeri opposition tried to create a scandal over this loan, asking where it had come from, but the repayment was made so quickly that the scandal did not last long.