It would be premature to unveil the details of the talks on the Belarus-Russia integration, Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey said on Tuesday in the run-up to the ‘Eastern Partnership at 10: Results and Ways Forward’ conference in Minsk.
According to him, routine work is underway. ‘You will know everything when the time is right,’ the minister stressed.
When asked about the presence of some negotiating points that would restrict the sovereignty of Belarus, Makey recommended journalists to ‘study the recent State of the Nation Address of the Belarusian president’.
As a dependent person, Mr Makey cannot act and speak freely, Belarusian political analyst Pavel Usau told Belsat.eu. Referring to Lukashenka, the diplomat simply wants to lay aside his political responsibility for the negotiations, the expert believes.
“The fact of his hiding his head in the sand proves that the unfolding situation will do no good to the Belarusian nation and the Belarusian state,” Usau said.
In his opinion, what Makey is participating in may be called ‘treason’ if one takes into account that the top official refused to make public the essence of the ‘integration’ talks.
“Of course, he is afraid. This is not a statesman’s position, but just the position of an ordinary faint-hearted. In fact, we are facing a turning point, but unfortunately, there are no true statemen, the people who put the nation’s interests over their self-interests, in Lukashenka’s close circle,” the political commentator added.
At the end of 2018, the Belarusian-Russian relations significantly deteriorated. In late December, there were some meetings of Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader pressed for ‘further integration’ while his Belarusian counterpart insisted on reducing gas prices and getting compensation for the tax maneuver.
On December 25, Lukashenka and Putin agreed to establish a working group on the integration within the Union State. Later, the leaders of Belarus and Russia repeatedly got back to the subject. However, the details of the negotiations remain under wraps. For example, the government refused to disclose any information to opposition MPs Alena Anisim and Hanna Kanapatskaya.
On May 29, during the meeting in Nur-Sultan, Vladimir Putin and Alyaksandr Lukashenka discussed the prospects of the ntegration process. According to Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, the leaders instructed the governments to develop integration measures by the end of June.
On June 4, Belarus’ Prime Minister Syarhei Rumas and State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapota met in Minsk to discuss an action plan on integration. The document needs to be prepared by 21 June. Once the parties find common ground on every matter, the heads of state are set to hold a meeting to discuss in detail all Russian-Belarusian issues and further bilateral cooperation, state-run news agency BelTA reports.