Lukashenko: monetary union with Russia necessary

“Monetary union with Russia is the final part of the integration process between Russia and Belarus.” The president of Belarus had stated this in whilst in a coverage with the news channel Rossiya 1.

However, Lukashenko has stated that such a union is not in the works. The president claims that this will be “the crown” of the integration process, and will be achieved when the unification will be complete. He added that it is vital that the integration with Russia is spread in all parts of the economy, creating equal circumstances for people in the frame of the United State.

The president had earlier stated that the price of Russian gas for Belarus will stand at $128.5 per 1000 cubic metres. He claims that he believes that the price can be reduced, given the relationship of the two states, but said that he will not bring this up in his talks with president Putin.

The central banks of Russia and Belarus have both stated that a monetary union will not be a problem.

Alexander Lukashenko has been under extreme scrutiny in the past few months for alleged unfair voting. This has caused mass protests across Belarus as part of the Belarusian democracy movement. The police have since stepped in and have been massively criticised for taking violent action against the protesters.

The union with Russia, as part of the Commonwealth of Independent States, has been around since 1991, and a Free Trade Area agreement was reached in 2012, however, the moves for a united Belarus in Russia are a relatively new topic. Some propose that Lukashenko is pushing for a union to preserve his place as leader of the Belorussians.

Image credit: Artem Podrez

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