JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow Has Limited Options in Belarus” – Chatham House/ John Lough

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

Leaked details of the latest negotiations between Moscow and Minsk on fleshing out their 20-year old Union State project suggest that Russia wants to place Belarus in a closer embrace without incorporating it into the Russian Federation

“… [There has been speculation in Moscow that] the Union State … [would provide] a platform for … Putin to stay in office after 2024 …. The [latest] ‘integration plan’ [for Russia and Belarus] … falls far short of establishing a single monetary, banking and customs system as foreseen in the original Union State Treaty. … [It] focuses on a more modest range of economic integration measures including a single tax code, a single regulator for the energy markets and deepening of common customs policies. … [A]s some Belarusian analysts have pointed out, creating a single tax code by the beginning of 2021 is mission impossible …. Moreover, disagreements on energy issues have plagued bilateral relations for years, while many customs issues within the Eurasian Economic Union to which Russia and Belarus both belong have remain unresolved …. Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo[T]his does not mean that Putin will not try to put further pressure on Lukashenka to trade sovereignty for the economic support on which his system depends. …”

Click here for: “Moscow Has Limited Options in Belarus; Leaked details of the latest negotiations between Moscow and Minsk on fleshing out their 20-year old Union State project suggest that Russia wants to place Belarus in a closer embrace without incorporating it into the Russian Federation” – Chatham House/ John Lough

[featured image is file photo]