LUKASHENKA PREVIEWS TREATY OF UNIFICATION WITH RUSSIA.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 68
Belarusan President Alyaksandr Lukashenka announced yesterday that his government is about to publish, for “public discussion,” its draft of the treaty of unification of Belarus with Russia. Addressing the parliament with the annual presidential message, Lukashenka anticipated that the Russia-Belarus treaty should create a “strong nucleus” for unification with Ukraine, and that Slavic union should in turn become the center of a world power to counterbalance the West. Lukashenka described the desired union as “voluntary pact among states that would retain their national sovereignty” while creating common defense, security, and customs and currency systems.
He expressed dissatisfaction with what he described as the Russian side’s limited interest in unification with Belarus and challenged the Kremlin to draw up not merely a “protocol of intent,” but an actual treaty of unification and to follow the Belarusan example of publishing it for “public discussion.” Lukashenka remarked that he rests his hopes for unification with Russia primarily on the success of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s Otechestvo (Fatherland] Movement–an oblique endorsement of Luzhkov’s presidential aspirations (Radio Minsk, April 7).
RUSSIAN TROOPS DROP CIS FIGLEAF, WILL STAY IN TAJIKISTAN.