Belarus leader in Moscow for talks on closer ties

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting his Belarusian counterpart for talks on closer integration between the two ex-Soviet neighbors. Thursday’s meeting follows allegations of a failed plot to assassinate Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko. Belarusian and Russian security agencies have arrested the alleged coup plotters in Moscow earlier this month. Lukashenko, in power for nearly 27 years, has grown increasingly dependent on Russia’s financial and political support after months of massive protests against his rule His visit to Moscow raised expectations that he could finally accept the Kremlin’s push for a stronger union. The opposition in Belarus warned Lukashenko not to give up any of the country’s sovereignty.