8 March 2021, Monday, 18:39
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Lukashenka's Room for Maneuver Growing Low

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Lukashenka's Room for Maneuver Growing Low
Photo: TASS

The rat is cornered.

The Belarusian dictator has less room to resist the crawling Russian expansion amid the acute internal political crisis, says naviny.online.

Medvedev resumed the integration topic again.

Against the backdrop of protests in Belarus over the past six months, the topic of deepening Belarusian-Russian integration has virtually disappeared from news reports.

It should be recalled that in December 2018, Dmitry Medvedev, then the Russian prime minister, said that Russia was ready to move forward with the "union state," including the creation of a single issuing centre.

In September 2019, he and his Belarusian counterpart Siarhei Rumas even initiated a corresponding program of 31 roadmaps, but, in the end, not all of them could be agreed.

However, the issue is still on the agenda. It seems that Medvedev has retained the position of the chief public speaker in this regard. On February 1, Medvedev spoke about the same issue again in an interview with the Russian media.

According to Medvedev, there is no alternative to the integration movement. Therefore, he said, "we must integrate more closely and exploit the full potential of the union treaty, including <...> a variety of issues, up to a single currency".

It raised concerns among supporters of the independence of our country. It is difficult to ignore the former head of the National Bank Stanislau Bahdankevich who said that the introduction of the single currency meant a complete loss of sovereignty.

The threat of Russian economic expansion is growing.

At the same time, even Russia's rejection of integration, real or not, does not mean that threats from its side disappear. It will move to other levels, first of all, to economic and military-political ones.

In particular, the experts of the Brussels-based publication EU Reporter believe that some Russian businessmen close to the Kremlin are already taking steps to purchase a significant stake in the backbone state-owned enterprises of Belarus. For example, Uralchim Chairman and major shareholder Dmitry Mazepin is called a major contender for Belaruskali.

Russia has those who want to get a grip of Belarusian oil refineries, Minsk Wheeled Tractor Plant and some other companies. However, such people have always been present. Now the Belarusian regime needs money.

Lukashenka has to cooperate more closely with Moscow in the military-political sphere. Russia may deploy military bases in Belarus.