Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 95

On Belarus radio September 13, president Aleksandr Lukashenko claimed for himself the mission of uniting the Slavic peoples of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Alluding to reports that he might seek Russia’s presidency in order to unite it with Belarus, he disclaimed any intention to challenge Boris Yeltsin for Russia’s presidency in 1996–a version designed to set him and Yeltsin against each other, Lukashenko said. And in any event he "could not accept the economic reforms underway in Russia," he said. Privatization and price liberalization are "against Belarus’ national interests." (11)

Despite occasional pan-Slavic rhetorical flourishes, Lukashenko’s recent pronouncements have tended to stress his own vision of Belarus interests. His effort to insulate Belarus from Russia’s economic reforms militates against political unification and limits economic integration between Belarus and Russia. Lukashenko’s nostalgia for the USSR appears focused more on its social order than on the obligations of servility toward Moscow.

Moldovan Concession Fails to Advance Transdniester Talks.