The Russian government is still dealing with the problem of the union between Russia and Belarus. Russia is still hurrying Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko regarding the issue of the introduction of the joint currency – a Russian ruble.
The National Bank of Belarus has already advised on its readiness to become the second issuing center of the unified state. Politicians have to do the rest now. Lukashenko is very limited in his actions right now. He does not have enough space for making a move. It seems that Lukashenko’s capitulation can cost really a lot to Russia.
Russia-Belarus integration process is still going on, despite any political complications. At least, Russian officials are doing their best to make it all go ok. As if there was no ultimatum from the Russian president and Lukashenko’s hysterics about it. the Belarussian president said that the offer from his Russian colleague was humiliating and unacceptable.
Russian Prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov declared at today’s session of the government that it would be absolutely real to instate the joint currency during the coming year. As he said, Russia’s all branches of power stood for the integration and introduction of the joint currency. For the time being, it is Belarus that is supposed to say something on the subject.
Russia’s and Belarus’ promises look like a conversation between a dumb and a deaf. Russian and Belarussian political institutions exchange their stern statements. Press writes about possible losses over “unified relations.” Alexander Lukashenko takes a great offence on Moscow. then it turns out that the Belarussian president was misunderstood. Then the story happens again.
The relations between the parties of the union regarding the issue of the single currency can not be called perfect either. Russia is acting as if everything has been settled, but this does not make this process go faster. Alexander Lukashenko said a month ago that Belarus stood for the institution of the joint currency too. Lukashenko was unhappy about the absence of a coordinated mechanism about that. The Belarussian president is sure that the national currency is strictly connected with the sovereignty. Sovereignty implies an issuing right. This is the bone of contention.
Alexander Lukashenko suspects that Moscow wants to make Belarus find itself in the conditions of currency inequality. The National Bank of Belarus should remain an independent issuing center at that. this is not good for Russia. The economy of the country does not allow Belarus to raise as many loans as it wishes at Russia’s expense. Lukashenko does not agree for the Belarussian National Bank to become an ordinary branch office of the Russian Central Bank.
Obviously, one has to make Lukashenko say ok for the final political unification with Russia. Certain economic issues and their settlement come second. However, the Secretary of the Unified State, Pavel Borodin, is full of optimism. He says that a Russian ruble will be the only money for both Russia and Belarus not later than in two years. Then there will be the joint union, the joint president, the joint parliament. Borodin does not explain, where all those things were going to come from.