Hailing Yeltsin’s role in promoting "the unity of the two fraternal Slavic peoples," Belarus president Aleksandr Lukashenko predicted that Yeltsin’s reelection "will undoubtedly accelerated integration processes among CIS states." But Lukashenko also complained that Russia’s protectionism is damaging Belarus. "Russia’s market has for some time been inaccessible to Belarus goods while all (Russian officials) were awaiting the election’s outcome," Lukashenko told domestic media. He announced that, in anticipation of Yeltsin’s victory, he had invited senior Russian officials to Belarus to discuss access for Belarus access to the Russian market in keeping with existing trade agreements.
Lukashenko and other Belarus officials have often complained about Russian protectionist measures incompatible with bilateral trade agreements and the CIS common market, which theoretically ought to have opened the Russian market for Belarus goods.
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