Belarus leader backs Putin’s plan of Eurasian Union

President Alexander Lukashenko (L) salutes during the Independence Day parade in Minsk. (AFP Photo)
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has called Vladimir Putin’s plan to create a Eurasian Union based on Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan “the right strategy,” but said that his people would support it only if it improved living conditions.

­The Belarusian leader made an assessment of Vladimir Putin’s plan to create the Eurasian Union – an interstate organization similar to the European Union and uniting its members into a single economy specializing in transition from industrial and scientific potential of the West to the markets and production resources of the East.

“This is not meant to be a compliment to my colleague, the former Russian president and current prime minister, but I must say that this article was a real event. Russian has stated clearly and unambiguously for the first time in many years about the priority of the relations with the states with which it shares a common Soviet background,” Lukashenko writes.

The Belarusian president stressed that for the first time in modern history the idea of such a union has been voiced at such a high level. He wrote that Russia was a major world power and it was only natural that it was starting to work with others, but priorities were very valuable as they were the basis for a strategy. “Behind the words of the article lies a strategy. The right strategy,” Lukashenko wrote.

At the same time, Lukashenko wrote that Putin’s initiative should not be perceived as “a division of Europe”. The integration of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is not against anyone, he wrote.

Lukashenko also wrote that in his view Putin’s article was far beyond a simple pre-election propaganda and sharply criticized those who suggested that these statements were mere declarations.

“The integration strategy described in the article is addressed not only to the voters and us, Russia’s neighbors, but to all global power centers. Bluffing could come out costly in this case, because upon receiving this powerful signal they all will make their strategic conclusions. Politics and politicians get respect only if they are serious and consistent. Thus, there should be no doubt that the intentions outlined by Putin are sincere,” the Belarusian president wrote.

At the same time, Lukashenko declared that his people need to see particular results they could get if the country enters the Eurasian Union. “You have to prove that the integration drive is not some sort of political games but a real prerequisite for the further improvement of human well-being,” he wrote.

The Belarusian leader also made a forecast that if the three states succeed in forming the Eurasian Union this would lead to creation of the solid socio-political structure with common values, legal system, living standards and objectives. He also added that the union could eventually get a single currency.

In the article published by Izvestia earlier this month, Prime Minister Putin wrote that the creation of the joint economic space in 2012 is an integration project of prime importance and will constitute a historic landmark, not only for Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, but for all countries in the post-Soviet space.

“We suggest creating a powerful supra-national union capable of becoming a pole in the modern world, and at the same time an effective connection between Europe and the dynamic Asia-Pacific Region,” Putin said, suggesting that the foundation of the Eurasian Union will forge a path for its members through the complicated world of the 21st century and become leaders in progress towards global growth and civilization, to the ultimate goals of success and prosperity.