By Paul Goble
Vladimir Putin and Alyaksandr Lukashenka are proceeding with plans to sign the implementation accord for the 1999 Union Treaty. They and their staffs have reportedly prepared 31 “road maps” for it. But all of this is being done behind closed doors, and that is making both Russians and Belarusians nervous, Nezavisimaya gazeta says.
Because the two leaders say there is still much work to be done but refuse to release the agreements that have been made so far, people in both countries are reaching conclusions that may not be true but that are causing people to be more worried than they need to be, the paper says (ng.ru/editorial/2019-09-10/2_7672_red.html).
It isn’t even clear, the editors continue, whether the “renewed” union treaty will establish a communal apartment or two separate ones. No one wants the former because both nations “do not want to give up what they have independence.” But people on both sides and especially the Belarusian are assuming the worst.
Pavel Usov, a Belarusian political scientist, says that “unfortunately, we in general don’t know what kind of a document it will be but undoubtedly it will mean the latest shot at our independence,” a view the Moscow paper says “many expert share” especially because except for the leaders and their immediate circle no one knows for sure.
The Belarusian government has tried to calm people down by saying that the renewed union agreement will not do anything to harm Belarusian independence, but those who look at the original 1999 accord aren’t so sure. That agreement seems to point to the formation of a single state.
But whatever is going on, Nezavisimaya gazeta continues, it will be better if the powers that be in both countries start sharing information with their own people. Otherwise rumors and conspiracy mongering will take over. In short, it says, “the more openness there is, the less distrust citizens will have toward what is being prepared for their future.”