Ukraine, Belarus Union With Russia

March 9, 2010

The Union State (Russian: Союзное государство, Belarusian: Саюзная дзяржава), semi-officially known as Union State of Russia and Belarus (Russian: Союзное государство России и Беларуси, Belarusian: Саюзная дзяржава Расіі і Беларусі), is a supranational entity consisting of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.

Originally, the Commonwealth of Russia and Belarus was formed on April 2, 1996. The basis of the union was strengthened on April 2, 1997, with the signing of the “Treaty on the Union between Belarus and Russia” at which time its name was changed to the Union of Belarus and Russia. Several further agreements were signed on December 25, 1998, with the intention of providing greater political, economic, and social integration. Nevertheless, the nature of this original political entity remained exceedingly vague. Under pressure from his own political opponents, who advocated a reunion of the two states, and from Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who sought to tie his exceedingly weak economy to Russia’s, then Russian President Boris Yeltsin initiated the creation of the current Union in order to harmonize the political and economic differences between the two nations. A similar proposal had been put forward by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1994, envisioning the founding of a `Eurasian Union,’ but this proposal was never adopted or seriously pursued. The Treaty on the Creation of a Union State of Russia and Belarus was signed on December 8, 1999. The intention was to eventually achieve a United Federation like the Soviet Union; with a common president, parliament, flag, coat of arms, anthem, constitution, army, citizenship, currency, etc. The current Union was ratified by the Russian State Duma on December 22, 1999 and the National Assembly of Belarus on January 26, 2000. The latter is the date the Treaty and the Union officially came into effect.

With a possible Moscow-centric and newly-elected Ukraine President and government on the horizon, and the joint Customs Union of the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan being created (all Foundation States of the former USSR) … many in the West have suggested that the Kremlin is pushing for the recreation of a Soviet-like Union of Republics.


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