- Kremlin will seek to avoid military responses to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and ongoing unrest in Belarus, expanding influence instead through diplomatic and economic efforts
- Moscow will seek to assume mediator role in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, although will risk becoming embroiled in conflict should Turkey step up military support for Azerbaijan
- Moscow will continue to provide political and economic support to Belarusian president, although will look to promote alternative candidate who will maintain geopolitical norms should Lukashenko’s position become untenable
Russia’s foreign ministry confirmed on 2 October that Belarus’ list of sanctioned EU officials will automatically apply in Russia, and said that it considered EU sanctions targeting approximately 40 Belarusian officials for their involvement in rigging August presidential elections “open and unacceptable pressure on the Belarusian authorities”.
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