Belarus is ready to include the business community in the dialogue with Russia
Last week, Alexander Lukashenka went off on Russia's approaches to a partnership with Belarus. Simultaneously, both ambassadors and the recently set up working group are determined to find a compromise. For the first time, Belarusian is ready to include the business community in the dialogue with Russia.
On January 18th, 2019, the first meeting of the Belarusian-Russian Business Council was held, however, in a unilateral format, e.g. there were no Russian business representatives. This is a new phenomenon, until now, relations with Russia have been exclusively centralized.
On January 18th, at a meeting with foreign ministers to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Belarusian diplomacy, Lukashenka said that integration could be deepened only on equal, parity terms, “based on best traditions and approaches, taking all the best from Belarusians and Russians. But not like this: we are large, you are small, let's do it as we do”. He also spoke about Russian media attacks on him personally and Belarus as a whole.
The 100th anniversary celebrations of the Belarusian diplomacy turned out to be the brightest professional celebration held in the past year and a half. They reflected the primary goal of the foreign policy strategy and the upcoming election campaign aimed at ensuring Belarus’ independence and sovereignty.
Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Semashko is convinced that disagreements on oil and gas would be overcome, however, his approaches are unlikely to facilitate an improvement in the negative trade balance with Russia, as he is not even considering “buying less”.