The “Union State” closes in on itself
Last week Lukashenka again referred to union integration, focusing on industrial cooperation, as the focus moves away from potential Belarusian “peace making” in Ukraine.
On April 27-28th, during an official visit of a delegation from Voronezh, Governor Alexander Gusev and Alexander Lukashenka discussed cooperation in the fields of agriculture, construction, mutual trade, and industry. The problem of sanctions was also discussed, although official reports do not focus on this.
According to Lukashenka, Russia and Belarus are trying to create a single Union State “on new principles, so that no one is offended, so that sovereign, independent states – Belarus and Russia – develop. Other republics of the former USSR will inevitably want to join such a union.” This is a rather bold forecast in a situation where the “Union State” is closing in on itself.
Russia has not invited any foreign leaders to the Victory Day celebrations on May 9th this year, apparently including Lukashenka. However, this is not unprecedented. The last time Putin and Lukashenka both participated in the anniversary parade was in 2020, when Lukashenka arranged a double holiday for himself – May 9th in Minsk and June 24th in Moscow.
The intensity of the discourse about potential Belarusian “peace making” has somewhat decreased. On April 27th, Belarusian diplomats complained that the West opposes Minsk’s participation in negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Foreign Ministry spokesman Anatoly Glaz noted that the West “clearly does not intend” to consider the interests of Belarus, and Minsk notes this. What exactly do they see in Minsk? That a private letter to EU diplomats authored by Vladimir Makei had no effect, and that the West is wary (to say the least) of the Belarusian leadership?
The 19th survey conducted by the sociological group “Rating” provides some indications of how the Belarusian regime is perceived by Ukrainians. The overwhelming majority have a negative attitude towards the self-proclaimed leader of Belarus Alexander Lukashenka and Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is noteworthy that they are viewed almost equally negatively (96% and 98%, respectively). Ukrainians view those who wage war directly and those who help them equivalently.
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Situation in Belarus