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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Russia's Equal Partner...

[Belarus President Alexander] Lukashenko's team has worked out a radical draft Union Treaty. The draft is so radical the Kremlin is afraid of it. In March of this year, during the last meeting between the presidents of the two countries, [Russian President Boris] Yeltsin rejected this document, which stipulate ? the introduction of the post of president of the Union, to be elected directly by the populace.

Nevertheless, Lukashenko has good reason to voice his Napoleonic dreams repeatedly. A quick unification of Russia and Belarus into one state with one president at its head is the easiest way for Yeltsin to retain power and get around the problem of the illegitimacy of his running for a third term ... Lukashenko has his own reasons for wanting to become union president. First, it is unlikely that the international community will dare isolate Russia, even if it becomes part of a unified state with Belarus, if for no other reason than because it still possesses nuclear weapons. And "bad Moscow" will no longer demand that Minsk pay for gas, and will automatically fully support Belarus' unprofitable economy.

Izvestia, July 2

..Or Just Another Province?

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is expected in Moscow. The main topic of the meeting of the presidents will be the founding of a unified state. In Russia, the idea of integrating Belarus and Russia is widely associated with the Kremlin's subtle intrigue aimed at either postponing the presidential election or prolonging the powers of the current Russian president. However, according to our sources, the Kremlin's wishes do not necessarily correspond to its capabilities. The dialogue with Alexander Lukashenko may end in failure, since the Belarus president has already drafted a Union Treaty. As for [Russian President] Boris Yeltsin, he thus far cannot boast of an analogous treaty, since all existing draft treaties developed by the Kremlin either cannot be implemented or do not appeal to the Kremlin boss. ?

The Kremlin has worked out two plans for Belarus joining the Russian Federation: as one federation subject, or as six federation subjects. In this case, however, all the charm that integration holds for the Minsk bureaucracy would disappear.

Segodnya, July 1