Talks between Belarus and Russia to further their ‘Union State’

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Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 2019-
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Summary:

Reports and analysis relating to the talks between leaders from Belarus and Russia on closer relations between the two countries in late 2019, in the framework of the planned 'Union State', a supranational entity bringing together the two sides.

Further information:

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Sochi (Russia) on 7 December 2019 to discuss matters relating to the integration of the two countries in the context of their Union State. What was meant to be an important occasion to mark the 20th anniversary since the signing of the 'Treaty on the Creation of a Union State of Russia and Belarus', was later reported as a moment of tension due to the lack of progress in the integration process.

Russia'a decision to suspend oil supplies to Belarus on 1 January 2020 - only to restore them a few days later - was seen as a way of pressing Belarusian authorities. Analysts highlight the two-faced position of the country's leader, which vows to maintain his position of power in a sovereign country while retaining the same level of economic support from Russia.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 26/09/2019: Moscow Has Limited Options in Belarus https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/moscow-has-limited-options-belarus
The Moscow Times, 02/12/2019: Are Russia and Belarus Creating a Unified Cabinet and Parliament? https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/12/02/are-russia-and-belarus-creating-a-unified-cabinet-and-parliament-a68428
The Moscow Times, 11/12/2019: Is the Kremlin Finally Ready to Play Hardball With Belarus? https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/12/11/is-the-kremlin-finally-ready-to-play-hardball-with-belarus-a68561
OSW: Analyses, 19/12/2019: The failure of the Russian-Belarusian summit https://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/analyses/2019-12-09/failure-russian-belarusian-summit
Foreign Policy, 01/01/2020: To Keep Putin Out, Belarus Invites the U.S. and China In https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/01/belarus-lures-us-china-to-forestall-putin-russia/
Reuters, 14/01/2020: Factbox: Economic health of Belarus, in dispute with Russia over oil supplies https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN1ZD1QZ
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 14/01/2020: Integration on Hold for Russia and Belarus https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/integration-hold-russia-and-belarus
ECFR: Commentary, 21/01/2020: Unsettled union: The future of the Belarus-Russia relationship https://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_unsettled_union_the_future_of_the_belarus_russia_relationship
Foreign Policy, 30/01/2020: The Birth of Belarusian Nationalism https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/30/the-birth-of-belarusian-nationalism/
The Moscow Times, 12/02/2020: Oatmeal and Water: The Thinning Belarus-Russia Relationship https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/02/12/oatmeal-and-water-the-thinning-belarus-russia-relationship-a69266
Euro|topics, February 2020: Minsk complains about pressure from Moscow https://www.eurotopics.net/en/235719/

News
The Moscow Times, 01/10/2019: Belarus Rejects Russia’s ‘Unacceptable’ Terms of Integration https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/10/01/belarus-rejects-russias-unacceptable-terms-of-integration-a67540
Reuters, 11/11/2019: Belarus threatens to pull out of Russia integration deal over subsidy row https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN1XR0CD
The Irish Times, 11/11/2019: Russia-Belarus ‘union’ questions swirl around rare EU trip for Lukashenko https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/russia-belarus-union-questions-swirl-around-rare-eu-trip-for-lukashenko-1.4079224
TASS, 19/11/2019: Russia-Belarus integration possible after settling most acute matters - Belarusian PM https://tass.com/world/1090467
Reuters, 05/12/2019: Leader of Belarus dismisses fears Russia could swallow his country https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN1Y91DU
RFE/RL, 05/12/2019: Day Of Reckoning: As Pressure Mounts, Belarusians Balk At Prospect Of Russia Merger https://www.rferl.org/a/day-of-reckoning-as-pressure-mounts-belarusians-balk-at-prospect-of-russia-merger/30309691.html
RFE/RL, 05/12/2019: Belarus's Lukashenka Touts Equal Partnership With Russia Ahead Of Meeting With Putin https://www.rferl.org/a/belarus-lukashenka-touts-equal-partnership-with-russia-ahead-of-meeting-with-putin/30308944.html
Deutsche Welle, 07/12/2019: Belarus: Protesters rally against closer Russia ties as Putin and Lukashenko in Sochi https://p.dw.com/p/3UNl0
The Moscow Times, 08/12/2019: Latest Russia-Belarus Integration Talks Fall Flat https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/12/08/russia-belarus-integration-talks-fall-flat-a68515
EurActiv, 09/12/2019: Belarus crowds rally against closer Russia ties, wave EU flags https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/belarus-crowds-rally-against-closer-russia-ties-wave-eu-flags/
The Moscow Times, 09/12/2019: Hundreds Protest Russia-Belarus Integration Pact in Minsk https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/12/09/hundreds-protest-belarus-integration-pact-with-russia-in-minsk-a68517
Reuters, 19/12/2019: Putin to Belarus: No gas discount before union state is advanced https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN1YN1Y1
BelTA, 19/12/2019: Putin: Calm, level-headed work in Russia-Belarus relations https://eng.belta.by/politics/view/putin-calm-level-headed-work-in-russia-belarus-relations-126812-2019/
Euronews, 21/12/2019: Protests as Belarus-Russia integration talks deepen https://www.euronews.com/2019/12/21/protests-as-belarus-russia-integration-talks-deepen
BelTA, 24/12/2019: Lukashenko: Sovereignty of Belarus, Russia unaffected by integration processes https://eng.belta.by/president/view/lukashenko-sovereignty-of-belarus-russia-unaffected-by-integration-processes-126920-2019/
The Moscow Times, 25/12/2019: ‘Russia Is a Part of Belarus,’ President Lukashenko Quips https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/12/25/russia-is-part-belarus-president-lukashenko-quips-a68743
VOA News, 29/12/2019: Dozens in Belarus Rally Against Closer Relations With Russia https://www.voanews.com/europe/dozens-belarus-rally-against-closer-relations-russia
The New York Times, 03/01/2020: Russia Halts Oil Supplies to Belarus in Push for Closer Ties https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/01/03/business/bc-eu-russia-belarus.html
TIME, 04/01/2020: Russia Resumes Oil Supplies to Belarus Amid Talks on Strengthening Economic Ties https://time.com/5758942/russia-belarus-oil-resumed/
RFE/RL, 14/01/2020: Belarus Scrambles For Oil Amid Supply Standoff With Russia https://www.rferl.org/a/belarus-scrambles-for-oil-amid-supply-standoff-with-russia/30376740.html
Euronews, 25/01/2020: Moscow pressuring us to merge with Russia, claims Belarus president https://www.euronews.com/2020/01/25/moscow-pressuring-us-to-merge-with-russia-claims-belarus-president
EurActiv, 14/02/2020: The Kremlin is pushing Belarus to merge with Russia: Lukashenko https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/the-kremlin-is-pushing-belarus-to-merge-with-russia-lukashenko/

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