NEW YORK, November 5. /TASS/. Western states are concerned by the development of the Union State of Russia and Belarus, thinking that it "would alter Europe’s balance of power," the Wall Street Journal daily informed on Tuesday, noting that the West aims to carefully establish cooperation with Minsk.
"The situation is serious in the sense that Russia may really force them to unite. They are under pressure and now it is the time for the European Union, for Poland, other countries, to support their sovereignty," the newspaper quotes Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowic as saying.
For his part, former US Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow stated that "nobody has any illusions" that the Belarusian government would follow the path of Georgia and Ukraine, which chose to begin integration with Europe. "But if they complicate Russian calculations and if they do provide material and political support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence, that’s not insignificant," Vershbow said. "But we also have to be careful not to appear to be embracing them so closely that it’s counterproductive and triggers a nasty Russian response."
In December 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko decided to establish an intergovernmental working group to develop integration. Earlier, Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Rumas informed that the updated program on the development of the Union State of Russia and Belarus would include roadmaps in the economic sector. The countries are expected to draft 31 cooperation roadmaps. Draft cooperation roadmaps between Russia and Belarus will be presented to both countries’ leaders by December 1, he added.