The president of Belarus has said the country is ready to unite with long-time ally Russia, raising the prospect of Moscow absorbing the eastern European dictatorship on the borders of Poland and Lithuania. the former Soviet state since the presidential post was created in 1994, said Friday his nation was ready to join with Russia, The Moscow Times reported
Lukashenko made the comments on the third and final day of bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Rumors have long abounded that Belarus could be absorbed into Russia under Putin's watch, deepening the "union state" arrangement that has existed between them since the late 1
"The two of us could unite tomorrow, no problem," Lukashenko said Friday. "But you're — Russians and Belarusians — ready for it?" The president added, according to Interfax. "We're ready to unite and consolidate our efforts, states and peoples as a father when we're ready."
Putin tried to question the very concept of independent states in his subsequent remarks. “There are simply completely independent states in the world. The modern world is a world of interdependence, "the Russian president said.
He pointed to the European Union as proof of his assertion. "There, the European Parliament makes more binding decisions for all members than the Soviet Union of the USSR once took such decisions for the Union republics. Is it not a dependency? ”Putin asked. Putin also suggested that U.S. military deployments in Europe have undermined nation sovereignty there. “Do you think someone from European countries wants U.S. medium-range missiles to appear in Europe? ”he asked.
“ No one wants that. But they sit, they keep quiet. Where is their sovereignty? But apparently they believe in the ultimate, general calculation, they are interested in an organization in which they have invested part of their sovereignty, "he said.
Putin's presidential term will end in 2024, and the current constitution prevents him for running again. It has been suggested that it could fit these restrictions by creating a nation with a union with Belarus.
The president voiced his support for the idea as long ago as 2011, when he said a union was "possible, desirable and wholly Deployed on the will of the Belarusian people. ”
In December, Lukashenko said the union state agreement had been a success, Russian state-backed news agency Tass reported. He declared, "The will of Belarusians and Russians towards unity will, as before, serve as a solid foundation for integration, multi-faceted cooperation and formation of common new history."
However, the long-serving dictator has previously dismissed suggestions he would allow his nation two cases during the Kremlin governance. "Sovereignty is sacred," he said in December, amid a spat with Moscow over oil and gas supply. "If anyone wants to break [Belarus] into regions and force us to become a subject of Russia, that will never happen." ]