Alyaksandr Lukashenka won a reprieve from his Russian creditorswhen Gazprom agreed to accept $200 million in Belarussian government bondsas partial compensation for $270 million that Belarussian buyers owe thenatural-gas monopoly. Gazprom, which in recent weeks had been demandingcash, also agreed to accept payment in barter for most deliveries over thenext two years. Quite possibly Gazprom will try to use Belarussian productsin payment of its own tax liabilities in Moscow. That would run counter torecent trends and dead against Russia’s agreement with the InternationalMonetary Fund, signed two weeks ago, to raise more taxes in cash. It would,however, strengthen the drive toward political union of Russia and Belarus.