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March 6 – March 12, 2023
Belarus-Russia relations

Belarus-Ukraine tensions rise following military attack, as Russia funds sustainable development and plans to crush US dollar with new currency

The situation has not changed
Belarus-Ukraine tensions rise following military attack, as Russia funds sustainable development and plans to crush US dollar with new currency
Иллюстрационное фото. Самолёт ДРЛОиУ А-50 на статической стоянке МАКС-2009. Фото: Allocer. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Minsk accused Ukraine of involvement in the attack at Mačuliščy airfield. Russia will provide Belarus with about USD 3.5 million to implement a “Program of the Sustainable Development Goals” project. Moscow may create a new currency, which will (allegedly) deal a “last crushing blow” to the US dollar.

The attack on an A-50U AWACS aircraft at Mačuliščy airfield, one of the most protected facilities in Belarus, demonstrated the vulnerability of security measures. Lukashenka was initially silent and then blamed  Ukraine for the attack, calling president Zelensky “scum” and vaguely threatening that “a gauntlet has been thrown.”

Meanwhile, the Belarusian KGB publicly paraded a suspect, Ukrainian citizen Mykola Shvets, allegedly an SBU agent involved in the attack. According to the KGB, the special services of Poland were also involved.

Kyiv rejected these accusations, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine characterised Lukashenka’s attack on Volodymyr Zelensky as an act of impotence. Ukrainian Ambassador to Minsk, Ihor Kizim, noted that the “Union State” of the aggressor countries would be strengthened, but there would be no invasion from the North as yet.

Minsk announced new financial support from Moscow of about USD 3.5 million for implementing a project to localise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme, including a national architecture for managing SDGs and promoting the inclusion of the SDGs in the regional planning system.

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation noted in a review published on March 9th that the share of Russian export settlements in “unfriendly currencies” for 2022 fell from 87% to 48%. The document also notes that the measures taken by Minsk and Moscow allowed the two countries to overcome even the most “nuclear” restrictions. In many respects, this is the price of integration within the framework of the Union State.

Sergey Glazyev, ex-adviser to the President of Russia, speculated that Russia might create a new currency to deal a “last crushing blow” to the status of the US dollar. In his view, such an initiative can be introduced within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. The new “hard” currency will presumably be appropriately backed.

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