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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Lukashenko denies Russia plans to ‘swallow’ Belarus by 2030

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has called reports that Russia will “gobble up” the republic by 2030 as “nonsense” and “chatter,” transmits BelTA. Earlier, several media reported that Moscow had drawn up a plan for the gradual annexation of the Belarusian state.

According to Lukashenka, information about the upcoming “absorption” of Belarus by Russia is aimed at destabilizing the situation in the country before the elections of deputies at all levels, which will be held in 2024, as well as the presidential elections in 2025.

“Now we have to start to switch (the situation). <...> they have started to loosen it slowly, they will still find subjects,” the Belarusian leader said.

Lukashenka did not rule out that a similar plan to join Belarus could have been drawn up three years ago, when the allied programs in Minsk and Moscow were discussed. “When we approached this subject, there were different points of view. Someone said it, someone like that. Maybe some officials, a group of people, have suggested within the presidential administration (of Russia) the way forward with Belarus,” he suggested.

As Lukashenko noted, at that time “there were different proposals, up to the entry of Russia into Belarus.”

“Where were they (those who posted the document) for three years? The document is old. Moreover, no one hid it, probably. Where were they? Why didn’t they speak sooner?” the president asked.

Lukashenko also expressed the opinion that with the help of such publications, Belarus “wants to cut it again.” The head of state stressed that his country is “an independent sovereign state”.

“Russia has its own strategy towards Belarus <...> – to live, as with his brothers, in peace and friendship. One hundred percent,” Lukashenko stressed.

Plan to “absorb” Belarus

On February 20, the Dossier Center, Kiev Independent, Delfi, Yahoo News, Süddeutsche Zeitung and several other publications published a document which, according to journalists, contains the plan of the Russian presidential administration to annex Belarus to Russia.

According to the investigation, a plan entitled “Strategic goals of the Russian Federation in the Belarusian direction” was drawn up in 2021. Among other things, it follows that the Kremlin intends to adapt Belarusian legislation to Russian legislation, to to control the foreign policy of Belarus in the interests of Moscow, to ensure the dominance of the Russian language over the Belarusian language, to launch a simplified procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship for Belarusians, as well as open points in the republic after passing the exam.

The complete “absorption” of Belarus, according to a document published by journalists, should be completed by 2030. According to sources of publications, the military conflict with Ukraine has slowed down the implementation of Russian plans, although that he did not stop them.

Allegations that Russia was planning to “absorb” Belarus have been repeatedly denied by Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Russia has no interest in absorbing anyone, there is simply no opportunity for that,” said it’s December 2022. A few months earlier, the Russian leader had said that “unprecedented political pressure and sanctions” from the West were pushing Moscow and Minsk to speed up integration.

In November 2021, Putin and Lukashenko approved 28 programs aimed at deepening economic cooperation between Russia and Belarus. In particular, the parties agreed to work on “approximation” and “harmonization” in macroeconomic, monetary, industrial policy, tax legislation, as well as to form common markets for oil, gas and electricity.

Western experts admit that in the coming months, Belarus could be embroiled in hostilities in Ukraine. Whether the possible participation of the republic is capable of changing the course of hostilities – read in the RTVI material.

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