NEWSWATCH: “Why Belarus Can’t Afford to Be the New Ukraine; Is it too late for Lukashenko to defy Russia?” – The National Interest/Nikolay Pakhomov

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

“On February 3 Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko launched the fiercest of his rhetorical attacks against Russia  …. moderate estimates show that Belarus has received approximately $100 billion of various Russian investments, preferences and support. … Politically, the Union State of Russia and Belarus that was formed in December 1999 never fully materialized. Furthermore, despite the geopolitical showdown between Russia and the West, Lukashenko has always adopted cautious positions, and Minsk has conducted its foreign-policy negotiations independently from Moscow. For example, Belarus has never recognized South Ossetia or Abkhazia as independent states. Belarus has also prevented its citizens from volunteering to fight for the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as a show of good will toward the new Ukrainian authorities. … At the same time, the Eurasian Economic Union, an international organization in the post-Soviet space, initiated and advanced by Russia, has been maturing. * * * … It is of no doubt that Belarus is important to this integration. Its educated workforce and big market are already making the Eurasian Economic Union stronger.  …”

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[featured image is file photo from different occasion]