Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 96

The Kremlin proposes to include in the Russia-Belarus union treaty or charter a commitment to political unification of the two countries in a federal state. However, Belarusan president Aleksandr Lukashenko and his delegates to the joint drafting commission "categorically oppose" this proposal, Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s aide, Sergei Shakhrai, disclosed yesterday at a plenary session of the president’s Political Consultative Council. Shakhrai, a hard-line promoter of the union and a member of the joint drafting commission, proposed a "compromise" envisaging Russia-Belarus unification in a single state within one year and the option of holding a referendum to approve the measure. (Interfax, ORT, May 14) Lukashenko’s position is consistent with his seemingly illogical insistence on a "union" with the retention of full Belarusan sovereignty. He is in fact interested mainly in an economic "union" with Russia and the continuation of his own political control of Belarus.

Ukrainian Sugar Hit by Tariff.