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Russia and Belarus make economic rapprochement

This is one more step in the rapprochement initiated between Russia and Belarus for more than a year. Presidents Vladimir Poutine and Alexandre Loukachenko, agreed, Thursday, September 9, on a strengthening of the economic integration of their countries.

At a press conference in the Kremlin, the two leaders announced the signing of a package of “28 programs” to strengthen the“Russia-Belarus Union”, a politico-economic alliance dating from 1999 and long remained at a standstill.

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Vladimir Putin indicated that these programs aim to “Unification of Russian and Belarusian legislation in different economic sectors” and at the “Construction of unified financial and energy markets”.

According to the Russian president, they must also allow“Achieve a common industrial and agricultural policy”. He also mentioned the creation of a unified gas market between the two countries before 2023.

Steadfast support from Moscow

Russia and Belarus are allies with turbulent relations. Periods of rapprochement and disputes, especially energy, alternate regularly. But for a year now, the two former Soviet republics have been getting closer in the wake of Alexander Lukashenko’s repression of a wave of historic protest against his re-election in August 2020.

With the unwavering support of Moscow, the Belarusian leader jailed hundreds of opponents, accusing the West, who took sanctions against Minsk, of instigating a revolution against him.

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On Thursday, Vladimir Putin, however, clarified that the issue of further political integration had not been addressed, arguing that it was necessary “First to create an economic base”. Alexander Lukashenko cut short the hypotheses of a possible merger of the two countries: “We must not come out of the old sentences saying that we are trying to swallow one or the other or to merge to the detriment of the aspirations of our peoples. “

For years Alexander Lukashenko, who values ​​his sovereignty, has protested against any attempt at rapprochement with Moscow, rather frowned upon by the Belarusians.

On the military level, the two countries are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSC), an alliance of four other countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia., This meeting between the two leaders also takes place at the eve of the start of major joint military exercises in Russia and Belarus.

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