Daily Memo: Grandstanding in Belarus, Making Deals in the Himalayas

Lukashenko gave Russia credit for its support of his government on the opening day of a "People's Assembly."

Lukashenko takes the stage. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday opened a two-day “People’s Assembly,” where he will discuss the country’s development plans for the next five years – including the possibility of constitutional reform. The opposition, however, says the event is actually aimed at shoring up support for Lukashenko after last August’s contested presidential election. Lukashenko said Russia’s help was critical in maintaining power during the “mutiny” that followed the election, adding that both countries would stay strong so long as they “stand back to back.” Deal on the Himalayas. India and China reached yet another agreement on pulling back troops from the Line of Actual Control, the two countries’ tense de facto Himalayan border. The unforgiving topography of the area limits the potential for escalation, but also perpetuates low-level instability. Periodic flare-ups will continue so long as both sides continue infrastructure development near the contested zones – and so long as China has a strategic interest in keeping India focused on the front rather than its maritime domain. Myanmar sanctions. U.S. President Joe Biden said new sanctions and economic restrictions targeting Myanmar were forthcoming amid a growing crackdown by the new military junta on mass protests in the […]

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