Are Belarus and Russia allies? Is country in NATO, population and does it support Russian invasion of Ukraine

Belarus has previously alighten itself with Russia - but where does it stand now as Russia invades Ukraine? Belarus has previously alighten itself with Russia - but where does it stand now as Russia invades Ukraine?
Belarus has previously alighten itself with Russia - but where does it stand now as Russia invades Ukraine? | Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

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Belarus has previously alighten itself with Russia - but where does it stand now as Russia invades Ukraine?

Nations have come together to impose sanctions on Russia after they launched a full-on invasion of Ukraine.

While there has been resounding condemnation from the international community, Russia does have allies that they have relied on during their offence so far.

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Belarus has been a long-term ally of Russia - but where does the country stand now that their neighbours have invaded Ukraine.

Here’s everything you need to know about Russia and Belarus’ relationship.

Where is Belarus?

Belarus is a landlocked country in eastern Europe.

The nation it bordered to Lithuania and Latvia to the north, Poland to the west and Ukraine to the South.

It’s largest bordering country is Russia to the east.

The country was formerly a member of the Soviet Union.

Who is the leader of Belarus?

The country’s president is Alexander Lukashenko, who has served 1994.

This makes him the longest serving European leader.

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Is Belarus an ally of Russia?

Belarus has remained close to Russia in political terms since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The two nations often engage in joint military activities and over the years there have been several treaties agreed upon between Belarus and Russia.

Belarus is a member of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), with President Lukashenko making direct reference to this after a recent meeting with President Putin.

In that meeting with President Putin, Lukashenko committed Belarus’ allyship to Russia in the conflict with Ukraine.

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This is believed to be because of concerns over NATO's expansion on not only Russia’s borders but on Belarus’ border.

During the invasion in the early hours of 24 February, Russian troops used a strategic position in Belarus to move into Ukraine.

As a result of its role in the invasion, Belarus was hit with sanctions from the UK as they unveiled restrictions on Russia.

What sanctions have been imposed on Belarus?

In a statement on 1 March, UK foreign secretary Liz Truss announced the “first tranche” of sanctions on Belarus.

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Four senior defence officials in Lukashenko’s administration and two key military chiefs are among those who will be affected.

They will all have their UK-based assets frozen and be banned from entering the UK.

Ms Truss said: “We are inflicting economic pain on Putin and those closest to him.

“We will not rest until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is restored.

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“The Lukashenko regime actively aids and abets Russia’s illegal invasion and will be made to feel the economic consequences for its support for Putin.

“There will be nowhere to hide. Nothing – and no one – is off the table.”

What is the population of Belarus?

There are currently 9.3million people in Belarus.

This makes the country the 20th most populous country in Europe.

What language is spoken in Belarus?

The official languages of Belarus are Belarusian and Russian.

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However a mix of others, including Ukrainian and Polish, are also spoken within the region.

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