Belarus hints at existing Eurasian Economic Union as tensions with Russia grow

Lukashenko (left), alongside EEU leaders Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladmir Putin
Lukashenko (left), alongside EEU leaders Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladmir Putin

Belarusian-Russian relations are showing further signs of damage after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko suggested the possibility of his country exiting the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Lukashenko told press that Belarus would consider leaving the union if agreements regarding his country were broken.

News of the announcement comes after Belarus took steps to de-Russify its local culture in what many labelled as an attempt to decrease the influence of neigbouring Russia.

The Former-Soviet dictatorship has traditionally held a strong relationship with Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent months however Belarus has begun to show signs that the nation may be attempting to distance itself from the Kremlin.

Events in Ukraine, growing pressure from Europe and disputes regarding the implementation of the EEU have thought to have caused diplomatic tensions between Russia and Belarus. Several critics have also claimed that Lukashenko’s move away from Russia may be partly motivated by the fear of military action in the region.

The EEU, which was established by Russia and came into force at the start of the year, saw Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan join together to form a shared economic union intended to rival the European Union. Armenia later joined as a member, following objections made by Belarus.

During the special press event, held today, Lukashenko reminded journalists that Belarus had joined the EEU with reservations and that the nation was not entirely happy with the position it held.

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