“What happened today in Minsk was more like a pro forma meeting of old friends,” Belorussian political analyst Nikolay Radov told EADaily.
“They made no serious statements. They did not even mention the credit the Belorussian authorities are dreaming of. Earlier Russia said that it would no longer sponsor anybody in the Eurasian Economic Union. All Belarus can hope for is money from the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development, where terms are different from those applied to state lending. But here too the Belarusians will have to pay rather than just talk,” Radov said.
The only serious topic, according to the expert, might be an extent to which Belarus and the EU can cooperate without damaging the interests of Russia.
“Putin and Lukashenko may have well agreed on Russia no longer preventing Belarus from ‘milking’ the European Union. In exchange, Gazprom may reschedule the country’s debts and may even give money for the gas transit system and for some integration projects. This will not be big money. Until Belarus faces a disaster, it will be given no money,” Chadov said.
As EADaily reported earlier, the Supreme State Council of the Union State met in Minsk on Feb 25. The meeting was attended by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The sides reconfirmed their commitment to promote their integration but made no landmark decisions. The two key points of the Russian-Belorussian agenda – provision of a Russian loan to Belarus and deployment of a Russian air base in the Belorussian territory – were not discussed.