As the West is considering further sanctions in response to Belarus’ hijacking of a Ryanair flight and the subsequent arrest of a journalist last weekend, President Alexander Lukashenko met on Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in what appeared to be a further sign of Moscow’s support for Minsk. Belarus outraged the West last Sunday when it sent a MIG-29 to force down the passenger plane flying from Athens to Vilnius so it could arrest 26-year-old journalist Roman Protasevich who has been critical of Lukashenko’s regime. In response, the EU banned Belarussian flights from its airports and is now considering further economic sanctions that would target Belarus’ main export item — a type of mined salt called potash — as well as the nation’s oil and financial sectors.