Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Belarus is now just Rus

This is one of the biggest news stories I've seen all year - Belarus is going to have a single currency with Russia and there will be moves towards a Russia-Belarus Constitution and the delegation of powers to supra-national bodies.

Anyone who's been following the situation in Belarus saw this one coming a mile off - Lukashenko is an egomaniacal dictator who is nevertheless a puppet of the Russians. For years, Belarus' independence has been de jure while it has de facto been a subject of Russia. And now, here's steps towards a formal declaration of a union between the two.

This somehow must play into the dispute between Poland and Belarus which has resulted in the breakdown of diplomatic relations between the two countries (see this article), ostensibly over the 400,000 ethnic Poles living in Belarus. Somehow, Poland being part of the EU and Belarus being, well, basically part of Russia, this seems to be about more of a conflict between Russia and the EU, or Poland in particular. The Baltics may be part of the EU - but ha, ha - Belarus is firmly Russia's. Clearly this single currency has been in the makings for a while. So what better way to nudge it in than to show that Belarus cannot maintain diplomatic relations with its Western neighbors and must therefore look to its big brother, Russia.

Next up, Moldova?


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