Belarusian-Russian integration

  • Belorussko-rossijjskie otnoshenija s perspektivy Minska: formalnyjj sojuz i fakticheskaja dezintegracija

    Author: Ryhor Astapenia
    Institution: Uniwersytet Warszawski, Poland
    Year of publication: 2016
    Source: Show
    Pages: 43-56
    DOI Address: http://dx.doi.org/10.15804/npw2016203
    PDF: npw/11/npw2016203.pdf

    This article is devoted to the analysis of integration and disintegration processes that occurred between Belarus and Russia after the signing the 1996 Treaty establishing the Community of the two countries. Particular attention is paid to the state of relations in 2014-2015 – after the beginning of the military conflict in Ukraine and the economic crisis in Belarus and Russia. The author points to several trends on three levels of cooperation. Politically, the countries disintegrate, as they become aware of the difference between their interests in bilateral relations and on the international arena. Economic cooperation remains at a high level, but deep integration is impossible, as the economic crisis forced Belarus to seek opportunities for economic development elsewhere. Military cooperation, in turn, reaches the limit of integration that Minsk is willing to accept: its manifestation was a refusal of Belarus to place a Russian military base on its territory. Moreover, Belarus has taken several steps to reduce its military dependence on Russia. Thus, the dynamics of the Belarusian-Russian relations allows to say that in the near future the country will continue formal integration, while in practice that means maintaining the “status quo” or even further disintegration.

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