There have been curious rumors floating around Moscow that there was a higher purpose to Russia’s recent intense focus on Belarus and the presidency of Alexander Lukashenko in neighboring ‘White Russia’. The territory of Belarus has long been a border region for Moscow, one that the Kremlin wants very much to keep in the realm of the Moscow’s influence. It now seems those rumors have rung true. Lukashenko has declared Belarus is ready to unite with Russia.
The two ‘Rus’ nations states formed an entity called the ‘Union State’ upon the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The union was weak and ineffective, more for show than anything else. However, as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to attempt to recreate at least the territorial footprint of the USSR, the Union State becomes front and center.
Putin has built his reputation as the man who added territory to the Russian Federation, not one who allows it to be taken away. However, there is a higher calling in a formal union of the two countries. It seems the Kremlin may believe that upon such a real union, the Russian constitution becomes ‘invalid’ and guess what, the new country needs a new president – none other than Vladimir Putin! Those pesky term limits of the old constitution will no longer be a problem.
“The two of us could unite tomorrow, no problem,” Lukashenko said in a video shared by a Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid Kremlin reporter on Twitter Friday, reported The Moscow Times.
“But are you – Russians and Belarussians – ready for it?” Lukashenko said as quoted by Interfax. “We’re ready to unite and consolidate our efforts, states and peoples as far as we’re ready.”
Putin, meanwhile, stressed that “fully independent states simply do not exist in the world,” bringing the European Union as an example of interdependence, wrote The Moscow Times.
It seems Putin is serious about annexing Belarus.
There has long been pressure against the former Soviet republic over the last decade as Lukashenko has shown a willingness to open his country to the European Union. Declaring a visa-free regime for EU citizens has been part of this Western outreach. This move obviously inflamed anger in Moscow. Belarus has seen a Russian push for a new Russian Air Force base, border squabbles with oil supplies being cutoff to Minsk, and overt Mafia-style offers that Belarus seems to have not been able to refuse.
it now seems the cards have been dealt for Russia to annex Belarus and form a new country. This comes on the heels of Russian action against Ukraine, Georgia, and the continued presence of Russian troops in Moldova.
This is a warning to other former subjects of the tsar – watch out!