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Russia is not strong enough to incorporate Belarus, expert says
Russia does not have enough power and resources to incorporate Belarus, Arkady Moshes, a researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, said at a conference in Vilnius on May 26.
The expert, who studies relations between Russia and the European Union and the 27-nation bloc’s Eastern Partnership program, said that Moscow had missed its chance of incorporating Belarus between 2004 and 2008. “Today Russia’s finances do not stretch that far, it is no longer fighting de facto for a global role,” Dr. Moshes said.
Seeking to defend his limitless power, Alyaksandr Lukashenka is opposed to Russia’s growing role in Belarus and can concede to Russia “only what he can lose painlessly,” according to the expert.
Dr. Moshes suggested that within the next five years Belarus may turn away from a weakening Russia gripped by political chaos and surging nationalism and seek closer ties with the European Union. At the same, he concluded, Belarus is likely to continue its balancing act between Russia and the EU in the next decade. // BelaPAN