Extensive western sanctions are simply accelerating integration between Russia and Belarus, says Putin on Friday.
The two neighbouring countries, Russia and Belarus, are under pressure to unite since various sanctions have been put on both countries following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Western countries have accused Belarus of acting as a launching pad for Russia’s invasion of northern Ukraine.
In 1997, the two nations agreed to a pact to assist their integration; this process has accelerated in recent years.
Belarus is being pushed to integrate itself with Russia more swiftly, according to President Vladimir Putin. He said that Belarus is under “extraordinary political and social pressure” from the West as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, stated at a seminar on Friday that the pressure was “pressing us to speed up the unification process.”
“Minimising the damage from the illegal sanctions, making it simpler to master the output of required products, to create new skills, and to expand collaboration with friendly countries,” he added, that action is needed.
Belarus’s President Aleksandr Lukashenko is the only supporter of the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine, among all the former Soviet republics.
Speaking at a forum, Lukashenko said that all other Soviet republics should strengthen their ties with Russia and Belarus if they want to protect their sovereignty and independence.
In back-to-back summits earlier this week, the Group of Seven (G7) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders singled out Belarus, with NATO denouncing Moscow’s “military integration with Belarus” in a new strategic framework that dubbed Russia a “direct threat” to peace and stability in the region.
Despite the waxing and waning of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s excitement for Moscow, Putin’s support for Minsk’s crackdown on anti-government rallies after contested elections in 2020 drove Lukashenko closer to Putin.
Sergei Shoigu, the minister of defence for Russia, stated last week that urgent collaborative actions between Belarus and Russia are needed to boost their militaries’ combat readiness and defence capabilities.
Belarus and Russia are a “union state,” which permits extensive defence and economic cooperation. Despite years of ongoing integration discussions, Lukashenko has rejected genuine political and economic unification offers.