Putin to hold talks President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in St Petersburg

Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko will meet today in St. Petersburg to discuss economic integration and updating

belarus russia putin lukashenko

Photo: Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Office

Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko will meet today in St. Petersburg to discuss economic integration and updating the Union State Foundation Treaty.

Russia has long had a vision for integration with Belarus, which has manifested itself in a harmonizing of Russian and Belarusian laws and a of lifting economic barriers in numerous industries.

Integration has been previously hampered by Lukashenko’s rocky relationship with Mr Putin – one that was characterised by media attacks during the 2010 Belarusian elections. Recently, however, Lukashenko has adjusted Belarusian foreign policy to align with Russia’s, especially with regards to the Syria conflict, where there has been a high level of cooperation with the Assad regime.

Russia’s expressed interest in integration has been met with frustration by Lukashenko’s administration over Russian tax maneuvers in the energy sector. In the past, when integration wasn’t done on Russian terms, Putin had tremendously slowed gas and energy supply to Belarus.

As increased integration is becoming central to dialogue between Belarus and Russia. A framework for integration through 2023 will be drafted shortly, potentially marking a peak in the relationship between these two states.

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