The main outcome of the meeting of Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko and whether Russia will support Belarus financially will depend on the practical steps of the Belarus authorities. Yuri Pavlovets, Belarusian political analyst made such statement talking to EADaily on December 15.
He said the meeting of the two presidents can hardly be called sensational, much less because of the few words they said after the talks.
“However, one can draw the following conclusions from the official statement,” he said. “First, lending to the Belarus economy fully depends on foreign policy issues. Most of the points in the statement were directly or indirectly connected with the combined efforts on the international arena. I’d like to emphasize that the EEU development issues were mentioned in passing. This means that Russia’s interests prevailed at the meeting, while the Belarusian president took back seat.”
“Second, the issue of the military base was not voiced, though it was apparently discussed. Although no decision was adopted officially today, it does not mean that they will not announce it shortly. However, it will probably be related to the security within the CSTO rather than the Belarus-Russia relations,” Pavlovets said.
“Third, a great many words about combined work and plans to develop the bilateral relations mean that Minsk can anticipate a positive decision on the loan, of course, if it implements the arrangement made. It appears that no loan will be provided anytime soon, and Moscow will be following Lukashenko’s behavior,” the expert said.
He believes that the major message of the meeting is that Russia’s financial support depends on the practical steps of the Belarus authorities. “The remarks full of meaning and the words and assurances that have become a usual thing are just a reason to test Belarus,” Yuri Pavlovets said for conclusion.
EADaily reported earlier that Putin-Lukashenko talks were held in Moscow on December 15. Economic integration issues were mainly discussed at the meeting. Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that one of the acutest issues on the current agenda of the Russian-Belarusian relations – possible deployment of a Russian military air base in Belarus – was not discussed at the meeting. The sides signed a joint statement pledging to “deepen the versatile partnership of the two countries based on mutual trust and respect for each other’s interests,” “combine efforts within the Common State and Eurasian Economic Union to create additional conditions for boosting mutual trade and business contacts of the real sectors of economy of the two states,” “take an active part in strengthening peace and stability, including through prevention of conflicts and their peaceful resolution,” “promote the idea of harmonizing integration processes in the West and East of Eurasia (concept of ‘integration of integration’) within international organizations and multilateral forums,” “continue the work towards linking the Eurasian Economic Union and the Chinese initiative of the ‘Economic Belt of the Great Silk Road’ reckoning with the interests of all the sides to the process” and others.