April 24 – April 30, 2023
Belarus-Russia relations

The peace-loving region of the Union State

The situation has not changed

Minsk continues to approach Russian regions to intensify cooperation, “bypassing Moscow.” Lukashenka unexpectedly refuted his previous statements that an attack was being prepared (or is being prepared) on Belarus, thereby “engaging reverse gear” on the eve of a major counteroffensive by Ukraine.

Lukashenka supports Russian aggression against Ukraine and constantly reminds the public of the “threat” from Ukraine, Poland, and the West. However, on April 28th, he announced that he “does not want to fight” or “send Belarusians to the front”. Moreover, he believes “no one is going to attack” Belarus.

From April 26th to 28th, a Belarusian government delegation headed by Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko paid a working visit to three Russian regions – Novosibirsk, Irkutsk and Sverdlovsk – thereby continuing the strategy of “regional” cooperation adopted by Minsk after the political crisis of 2020.

As a result of the visit to Novosibirsk, contracts worth USD 13 million were signed. “The interests of Belarus in Siberia are diverse: from industrial cooperation to microelectronics,” Belarusian officials report with unadulterated enthusiasm, alien to the difficult problems of the modern world. USD 13 million is objectively an extremely modest amount: both in terms of the scale of cooperation between Belarus and the third largest city in Russia (1.63 million inhabitants; 2.79 million in the region), and in terms of the affairs run by the governor of Novosibirsk Andrei Travnikov.

While the Belarusian government was addressing business matters, Lukashenka immersed himself in issues of cultural and historical policy, stating that at one time, he “saved” Belarus from nationalism, in particular, by actively contributing to stopping the persecution of the Russian language and the Russian-speaking population.

Vladimir Putin (who was banned from entering Moldova on April 28th) is also actively involved in issues of historical politics. The “list of instructions following the [February 2nd ] meeting with representatives of public patriotic and youth organisations”, published on April 27th, includes plans to create museums dedicated to the war with Ukraine.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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