by Ilya Kunitski*
When Belarus’s authoritarian ruler, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, goes to ski in Russia, it is rarely just for a nice vacation. The southern Russian resort town of Sochi, planned site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, is a favored spot for Belarusian and Russian officials to gather and discuss bilateral relations in a relaxing setting. Lukashenka’s trip to Sochi last month was no exception, with official Belarusian media duly reporting that his time on the slopes would be combined with a working visit.
Little information on the details of the trip emerged, aside from video and photographs of Lukashenka skiing together with Russian president Dmitri Medvedev.
Photo Credit: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty