Lukashenka gives flowers to Merkel and smiles to Hollande

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It is not clear when the negotiations of the French, German, Ukrainian and Russian leaders will finish. The state leaders even took a dinner break. Euroradio offers a photo report from the negotiations in Minsk Independence Palace. You can see that Poroshenko is always close to Hollande and Merkel and Putin is next to Lukashenka.

Journalists were allowed to enter Independence Palace at 4.30 p.m. The check-up was usual but affable. Security guards were civil. It was unusual to see the German and French flags in the Palace. The latter was always in the centre.

The state leaders arrived three hours later. Poroshenko arrived after 7 p.m., Merkel and Hollande came 20 minutes later. Putin was the last to arrive. By the way, he was almost on time (only 20 minutes late). “This is good news for us all,” security guards joked.

Lukashenka was very affable and even a bit anxious. At least it seemed so. He shook hands with Poroshenko, smiled to Hollande, gave flowers to Merkel and asked her about something. He only embraced Putin but it looked comical because of Putin’s height.

Journalists had to wait for the state leaders to come out for a group photo for almost two hours.

“The protocol has been breached and it is hard to predict what will happen next,” security guards said. However, Lukashenka took a photo with ‘the Norman Four’ in the hall of the Independence Palace. He approached the flags together with Merkel (instead of Putin) again.

The negotiations are being held behind closed doors. You can meet Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei or Putin’s adviser Surkov in the lobby. However, sleepy journalists hardly care about them at 2 a.m.

Photo: Reuters, AFP, ria.ru, ЕРА, BELTA, kp.by