The Kremlin is pushing Belarus to merge with Russia in exchange for cheap energy, the Belarusian leader said Friday (14 February), as Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is believed to be maneuvering to extend his stay in power. The two have formed a nominal “union” with close trade and military cooperation but Moscow now wants deeper integration. Russia and Belarus have failed to agree on prices of energy supplies for 2020. Moscow has drastically reduced oil supplies to Minsk and last week’s Sochi talks did not lead to a breakthrough.
Donald Trump's steadily rising approval rating comes on the back of nine steadily shambolic Democratic Party presidential debates since June 2019, each one more cringeworthy than the last and each one exposing the vast array of weaknesses in an underwhelming group of candidates.