Monday, August 19, 2019
Prospects for substantive unification between Russia and Belarus.
The Belarusian government is discussing a prospective formal union with Russia, but it appears to see this more as a process for obtaining economic concessions and resolving ongoing differences. President Alexander Lukashenka repeatedly stresses dividing lines on sovereignty, foreign policy and security -- the only areas where he wields some power in the unequal relationship. Moscow, for its part, leverages the ‘Union State’ concept to keep Minsk under pressure, at a time when Belarusian economic performance is disappointing and export revenues are declining.