The Union State programs: will anything change in the relations of Minsk and Moscow?

September 13, 2021 15:27

September 16, 5 PM (UTC +3), pre-registration is required for access, details are below.

Background

After years of negotiations, at a meeting in Moscow Lukashenka and Putin agreed on 28 Union State programs to deepen the integration of Russia and Belarus. The day after they were approved at a joint meeting of the governments of the two countries in Minsk. The programs must be finally approved at a meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State by the end of the year.

Many swords were crossed on the union programs (formerly roadmaps). The content of the programs was kept secret, and the officials of both countries made contradictory statements on the number of programs agreed by both sides. The now promulgated wording of the programs doesn’t contain anything radically new in the relations between Minsk and Moscow. However, the wording is vague and leaves room for interpretation.

Today’s open questions include:

• Do the union programs threaten the sovereignty of Belarus?

• What are the prospects of strengthening the military and economic influence of Russia on Belarus? To what extent will the programs be able to change the balance in relations?

• How will the signing of the union programs be perceived in Belarus and the West?

Keynote speakers:

Pavel Matsukevich, Senior Analyst at the Center for New Ideas, former Charge d'Affaires of Belarus in Switzerland;

Pavel Slunkin, Fellow of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), former First Secretary of the European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus;

Anatol Pankouski, editor of the Belarusian Yearbook and Our Opinion – the website of the Belarusian expert community;

Valer Karbalevich, a political columnist for Radio Liberty.

Moderators:

  • Vadim Mojeiko (BISS)
  • Natallia Gantievskaya (Press Club Belarus)

Working languages: Belarusian and Russian with simultaneous interpretation into English

How to participate (please note that you will not be able to join the meeting after it starts):

  1. To join the online discussion, please fill out the Google Form (https://forms.gle/Qgqrc2pxvbPUmbCf6)
  2. In response, you will receive a link inviting you to join a Zoom meeting (if you do not have Zoom, you may install it on your PC, phone or tablet following the same link. It is free and easy).

Organizers:

  • Belarus in Focus Information Office
  • Press Club Belarus
  • Nashe Mnenie
  • Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS)

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Short title: 
The Union State programs: will anything change in the relations of Minsk and Moscow?