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Any Putin intervention in Belarus will meet 'huge pushback', says analyst

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at public ceremony, in the village of Khoroshevo, Russia, 30, 2020
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at public ceremony, in the village of Khoroshevo, Russia, 30, 2020   -   Copyright  Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
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Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko is flying to Sochi on Monday for a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

It comes after the sixth consecutive weekend of unrest in Belarus - with thousands of protesters demanding Lukashenko's resignation in Minsk, amid vote fraud allegations and hundreds of detentions.

The Belarusian leader hinted in an interview last week that should current protests in Belarus "succeed" in destabilising the political power, Russia would "come next", while Putin himself previously asserted he would be ready to deploy forces to Belarus to prevent the situation from spinning "out control".

According to Katsiaryna Shmatsina, a political Analyst at Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Putin is aware that the current unrest in Belarus could have a domino effect on Russia.

"Putin himself understands that [... ] Belarus might set an example of a success story against authoritarian leadership", Shmatsina to Euronews' Good Morning Europe.

That however would not be enough to guarantee the efficacy of a Russian intervention, she explained.

"Russia has not so much support inside the Belarusian society, in terms of integration or some kind of annexation, or joining Russia."

"In this time when the Belarusian society is having this high momentum of protest potential, should Putin interfere in a sort of aggressive way, he would meet a huge pushback".

Nevertheless, Putin is prepared, according to Shmatsina, to seize the opportunity of this meeting to capitalize on Belarus' political unrest and keep Belarus "in its orbit for geopolitical interest".

Watch the full interview in the player above.