Ahead of a visit to Moscow, Alyaksandr Lukashenka has held a meeting on current issues of cooperation with Russia.
The Belarusian leader will be having talks with Vladimir Putin on Friday. The latter is rumoured to ask Lukashenka for ‘deeper integration’.
“We have always stressed the significance of this cooperation. The comprehensiveness of our relations is of great importance not only for Belarus but also for Russia. They are based on the systemic and, most important, on a planned basis,” Lukashenka said.
According to him, although many decisions had been made, not all of them were being put in practice.
As is clear from the photos of the meeting, it is not only the representatives of the government who have participated in the event. To the left of Lukashenka one can see chairman of the Council of the Republic Mikhail Myasnikovich, Head of the Presidential Administration Natallya Kachanava, Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey and KGB Chairman Valery Vakulchyk. Prime Minister Syarhei Rumas, Deputy Prime Minister Ihar Lyashenka, Deputy Prime Minister Ihar Petryshenka, Energy Minister Viktar Karankevich were sitting on the right of the president.
On December 11, Russian-Belarusian negotiations on compensation for losses from tax maneuvers and gas discounts were thwarted in Moscow. On December 11, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak refused to discuss these issues with the Belarusian delegation, ‘until fundamental decisions are taken on the further integration of Russia and Belarus within the framework of the Union State;. Two days later, at a meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Union State, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that a common policy in the sphere of prices and tariffs is possible only if the agreement on the Union State is implemented. It is about creating a single emission center, common customs, courts and clearing houses. Many perceived the statement as a threat to the country’s sovereignty.
On December 14, Alyaksandr Lukashenka gave a press conference to the Russian media, where he stated that Belarus would never give up its sovereignty. “If they want to, as Zhirinovsky proposed, to divide us into regions and shove into Russia, this will never happen,” he stressed.
A week ago, Alexey Venediktov, the chief editor of Echo of Moscow, on the air of his radio station told how Moscow viewed the possibility of the annexation of Belarus.
“I understand how the current ruling circles view Belarus — just the way they viewed Crimea before. It’s not there, when it’s not. And when it falls into the hands — then we’ll take it. I cannot understand, what is new for you here. This is any observant person, even without having an insider information or having much less insider information than I would have already made conclusions about long ago. If it’s overripe, it will fall into the hands. If not, it will not,” he stressed.
Venediktov is known for his informal friendship with many representatives of the Kremlin, in particular, with Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov. He also suggested that Putin might offer a ‘deeper integration’ to Lukashenka on December, 25.