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1 Jun, 2021 13:53

Unification of Russia & Belarus would put ‘serious pressure’ on Ukraine & could create ‘dangers’ for Kiev, says President Zelensky

Unification of Russia & Belarus would put ‘serious pressure’ on Ukraine & could create ‘dangers’ for Kiev, says President Zelensky

The creation of a real union state between Russia and Belarus under the control of Moscow could pose a serious threat to Kiev and would affect Ukraine's national security, according to the country's President, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Speaking on Monday to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Zelensky responded to a question about both Russia and Belarus placing extra troops on the frontier with Ukraine.

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“There is a very dangerous situation in Belarus on our northern border. Today, the army there is under the command of the Belarusian regime, but we are watching Russia and Belarus constantly work on agreements with each other, which could perhaps include defense,” Zelensky theorized.

“Then, Russia would have control over the Belarusian armed forces.”

In particular, Zelensky revealed that Kiev fears a “real union state” between Russia and Belarus, in which the two nations would essentially become unified into one, controlled by Moscow.

The Union State treaty was signed by Russia and Belarus in 1999, but many of its proposals have not been realized. According to the document's text, the two nations planned to create a joint parliament, court and cabinet. Since then, unification has regularly been discussed, including the creation of a shared currency, military and customs space. These ideas have never come to fruition.

Last Friday, at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, the Russian leader noted that the two capitals are gradually moving towards building a formal union while being careful to make sure it works in the interest of both countries.

“This work is already yielding concrete results for our citizens,” Putin said. “We are doing everything consistently, not rushing and not getting ahead of ourselves, but acting in stages.”

Last month, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Moscow newspaper Argumenty i Fakty that there are “no plans for a merger” between the two countries, but “the deepest possible integration” would be of interest to “both Russians and Belarusians.”

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