Support The Moscow Times!

Belarus Ready to 'Unite' With Russia, Lukashenko Says

Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin Kremlin.ru

Belarus is ready to merge with Russia, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said on the third and last day of his bilateral talks with President Vladimir Putin on Friday.

Rumors resurfaced this year that Russia could annex Belarus as Putin’s constitutional term limits bar him from running for the presidency in 2024.

“The two of us could unite tomorrow, no problem,” Lukashenko said in a video shared by a Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid Kremlin reporter on Twitter Friday.

“But are you – Russians and Belarussians – ready for it?” Lukashenko said as quoted by Interfax. “We’re ready to unite and consolidate our efforts, states and peoples as far as we’re ready.”

Putin, meanwhile, stressed that “fully independent states simply do not exist in the world,” bringing the European Union as an example of interdependence. 

The Russian president has voiced support for Russia to unite with Belarus as early as 2011.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.