Making a visit to Russia, Alyaksandr Lukashenka might have hoped for a Christmas miracle. On December 25, he had the baggage of the problems which he ‘did not want to take to the New Year’, including the issues of further integration and Russian energy products.
But four-hour talks with Vladimir Putin are over, and the parties does not seem to have come to an agreement. In the near future, they will discuss the problems in the framework of working groups, negotiating the gas price has been put on ice.
When the Belarusian delegation was on their way to Moscow, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov noted that Belarus had recently lost its ally’s trust.
Russia is not happy about the neighbour’s smuggling sanctioned goods as well as alleged failure to comply with the provisions of the 1999 Union Treaty signed during the presidency of Boris Yeltsin.
“The year of 1999… Lukashenka was dreaming of taking the helm of a would-be Belarusian-Russian state. But soon Putin came to power,” Belarusian political analyst Valery Karbalevich said.
Then the door to the Kremlin was closed on Lukashenka. At the same time, the process of Belarus’ integration into a single ‘tax, customs, monetary and economic policy’ lost stream.
On Tuesday, another attempt to reach a compromise was made behind the closed doors. Even if the both sides backed down, the exchange was not equivalent, Karbalevich believes.
“The negotiations on the establishment of the Union State may last for years and go nowhere,” the expert said.
Using such strategy, Belarus has been existing the Union State for a very long time. But for the first time in the last 10 years, Vladimir Putin has started insisting on deepening the integration and made it a condition for Russia’s further backing Belarus. However, Lukashenka seems to consider it an attack on Belarus’ sovereignty.