20 years of dreams and compulsion: how Russia and Belarus were building a Union state

Lukashenko formed the budget due to the resale of cheap Russian energy resources With the coming to power of Vladimir Putin the principle of relations between Belarus and Russia in the media began to call with the phrase “oil in exchange for kisses”.

On Wednesday it became known that the head of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has signed the customs code of the EEU, although at the end of last year I refused to do it, stating the disadvantages for the Republic of Belarus in this integration. Shortly before, on 3 April, during a meeting in Saint Petersburg with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hand said: “between our peoples, there were no unresolved issues”. That is, a year-long conflict between Moscow and Minsk seems to be over. But just look at the history of the creation of the so-called Union state of Russia and Belarus, anniversary of which is celebrated this month to make sure that this world is temporary, and equality “allies” can not be considered.

The Kremlin is not allowed, but badly paid

It all started incredibly pretentious and, as it seemed then, dogovarivatsya promising for both sides. 2 April 1997 in Moscow the presidents of Belarus and Russia signed the Treaty of the Union of Belarus and Russia. (Since then, April 2 is celebrated as the Day of unity of peoples of Belarus and Russia). Actually, if you look at Wikipedia, we find that the Federal government(also in the press there are names the Union of Russia and Belarus (SRB), the Union State of Russia and Belarus, etc.) is the supranationalism of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus with the stages organized by a single political, economic, military, customs, currency, legal, humanitarian and cultural space. So it then seemed. The elderly and extremely unpopular Boris Yeltsin, who complexes about his involvement in the signing of the Belavezha accords and the young, popular, already has declared that Belarus is for him a past stage, Alexander Lukashenko. SIP for the camera, the alcohol, the Belarusian friend while romping on the floor broke the glass and hid it in the pocket pen, which signed the relevant documents.

Over the years, both countries have come a long way. The plan for the return of former Soviet republics into the sphere of interests of Moscow, adopted in August 1992, it seems, leads to the first results. However, Boris is clearly losing and there is nobody to replace it yet, and Alexander G. clearly aimed to lead the common state, but originally prepared to sign documents at the last moment a few emasculated Yeltsin’s inner circle. In turn, Lukashenko, who came to power in the summer of 1994 on the shedding of crocodile tears about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the assertion that ready “on my knees to crawl to Russia” and declaring plans of maximum rapprochement with Moscow “up to Association”, a year after the signing of the agreement on the Commonwealth of Belarus and Russia have reached considerable successes. Dealt a crushing blow to the nationally oriented opposition, the “abolishing” of conquest like the official status of national symbols, programs, Belarusization entering formal bilingualism. Finally, suppressing mass demonstrations dissatisfied and showing who’s boss. At the same time Alexander Lukashenko is actively visited Russian regions, where he was greeted enthusiastically to the maximum. Questions about his desire to take a seat in the Kremlin, Lukashenka answered fairly transparent hints like, “well, we have the same Union, equality, so afraid of wolves — in the woods not to go.”

In the forest, meanwhile, despite the documents signed by Alexander Lukashenko did not begin the very start, almost immediately, as the Kremlin swept pieces of broken glass. Yeltsin’s inner circle set him up for a critical attitude to Lukashenko, with the result that Minsk guest once even closed the air space of the Russian Federation. Yes, and plus the need to maintain the reputation of Boris Yeltsin as a Democrat. Ally-it is at this time protects the political space of our country. With political prisoners, struggle with the media, etc. At some point, even Yeltsin growled in camera on the question about the prospects of further integration, “He let the first Sheremet released! “. (Talking about the criminal case and the arrest in Belarus of the crew under the leadership of ORT Pavel Sheremet).

However, despite the increasingly slipping prospects of Lukashenka to get the coveted hat of Monomakh, the Federal agencies were created and Minsk all subsequent years of the Russian leadership, Yeltsin continued to receive economic price on the principle of “Oil in exchange for kisses”.

Keep your mouth shut, fly

The situation has changed dramatically in Lukashenka’s Belarus came to power in 1999 in Russia at that time a relative of a young KGB officer Vladimir Putin, which, of course, not interested in the question of human rights, but demanded for each given resource stick a piece of Belarusian sovereignty and ownership. So from the Belarusian ownership will leave a number of enterprises, the main of which the state – “Beltransgaz”. To understand the significance of the incident for example, try to imagine that the Ukrainian “Naftogaz” has transferred in property of “Gazprom”, which has repeatedly advised the Ukrainians to the Russian “well-wishers”.

The first serious conflict between Putin and Lukashenko was founded 2002 with the discussion, what is significant, that the Constitution of the Union state. Then, in response to the proposals of the Belarusians Vladimir Vladimirovich said, say, “let us separate flies from cutlets”, they say, our economies are incomparable, what equality, what law on issuing centre in Minsk for the production of a common currency? And suggested Belarus to create a single state with one Parliament, government, President, or to unite on the principle of the European Union. However, this was not 1997, Lukashenka that such integration does not “light” was indignant: “even Lenin and Stalin had thought of it!”


The following conflict — February 2004, when in the cold Moscow stops gas supplies to Belarus. (Not agreed on tariffs, RB has not paid debt) And the famous Lukashenko — “our relationship is now forever poisoned with gas.”

In General, from the moment it became clear the quality of this Alliance and that the “unity” of countries Putin will seek, by coercion of Belarus, instead of seeking a common language with Lukashenka, unable to geopolitical and economic reorientation, since it must be accompanied by reforms, and it is a threat to personal power. And away: in July of 2010, Alexander G. agrees to the entry of Belarus into the Customs Union, although for some time this was resisted. But information warfare by the Federal Russian media — and it’s done. How is that supposedly ended the current conflict and the signing of the customs code of the EAEU.

As for the Union state, or rather, the original image of the “high Contracting parties”, it appears that point on it set the FSB, announced this winter, about the beginning of construction of a full border area with Belarus.
Independence is the guarantee of Lukashenko

In 1996, Alexander Lukashenko, seen in the “Union state” the ability to occupy a Central place in the Kremlin. It is planned to restore the Soviet Union in a truncated version, said the journalist Severin Kwiatkowski.

“Lukashenka’s popularity among the Russians was already very high. The chances of the “Union” the presidency was real. Lukashenko strongly demonstrated its commitment to Russia. Defiantly had a fight with the West, began the rollback of belorussiyi through the decline in the use of the Belarusian language, harassment of national symbols, the return to education of the Soviet-Russian views on Belarusian history. But most importantly — strapped Belarusian economy to Russian. Since coming to power in Russia of Vladimir Putin, the whole scheme collapsed. The principle of relations between Belarus and Russia, the media came to represent the phrase “oil in exchange for kisses,” he recalls “Apostrophe”.

“Put simply, Lukashenko form the budget due to the resale of cheap Russian energy resources. The economy is not reformed, since the money was.

Recent years the situation has changed. Money for Belarus in the same volume that Russia does not have. Former parthasarthy elite has been replaced by people with the mindset of businessmen. That is, the simple desire to feed “ally” in any case, are missing, too.

The paradox is that the independence of Belarus has now become the guarantee of the independence of Lukashenko and those who depend on it. Since back to the West almost impossible, since you need to carry out full-scale reforms in economy and politics,” said Kwiatkowski.

During the Minsk spring 96 one of the slogans of the Belarusian opposition was: “the Union with Russia is war and poverty”. “It is the threat from Imperial Russia to massively exasperated and outputs of the Belarusians to the streets of Minsk and other Belarusian cities, in spite of harsh repression by the regime of Lukashenko,” — said the leader of the solidarity Movement “Razam” Viachaslau Siuchyk.

“I perceive any Alliance with Russia as a form of seize our territory by Moscow. The so-called Union state of Russia and Belarus is no exception. During the Yeltsin era, Lukashenko had the illusion that this format will be a stepping stone to his rule in the Kremlin. Putin’s election upset these naive plans. But was very dangerous for the independence and sovereignty of the format of the “Union state”, which tied our country to Moscow,” he added for “Apostrophe”.

“This, and other integration projects already Putin has led to the degradation of the Belarusian economy and the crisis in the country, when the “marches of natureade” and the celebration of freedom Day regime’s response to brutal repression. But police and gebeshny lawlessness will not stop the de-industrialization of Belarus, which is forced now to hold Lukashenka and mass unemployment. We, Belarusians, do not need a Union state with Russia. The faster it is eliminated, this postcolonial structure of the “Union state”, the better for Belarus”, — summed up Siuchyk.