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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Belarus Resumes Push for Union




MINSK, Belarus -- Pushing for a full merger with Russia, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus is accusing Moscow of dragging its feet on their union agreement.


"God help Russia fulfill what has already been worked out," Lukashenko said in an interview with Interfax published Tuesday.


Belarus is open "for the degree of integration for which Russia is ready,'' Lukashenko said.


The union treaty, which Lukashenko signed with Russian President Boris Yeltsin last May, calls for closer economic, political and military ties between Belarus, a former Soviet republic of 10 million people, and its far larger eastern neighbor, which has a population of nearly 150 million.


The deal stopped short of a full merger of the two Slavic nations, which was Lukashenko's goal. Lukashenko, an authoritarian leader popular with his people, has called for the restoration of the Soviet Union and has restored many Soviet-style symbols.


Liberals in the Kremlin have sought to block a full union.