Yabloko advocates the integration of Russia and Byelarus,
provided that the statehood and constitution of each of
the two countries involved are preserved, that neither
fraternal nation incurs any economic loss and human rights
are constantly observed, pursuant to universally recognized
principles and norms.
Yabloko considers it extremely important to conclude
a serious Treaty on Economic Union between the Russian
Federation and the Republic of Byelarus and proposes a
corresponding draft treaty, including 20 special economic
supplements, that was published and submitted to Boris
Yeltsin and Alexander Lukashenko in 1997. Yabloko's draft
Treaty on Economic Union is an accessible document: it
is published on Yabloko's site on the Internet (http://www.yabloko.ru).
Unfortunately, at present neither the leadership of Belarus
or Russia are ready to conduct serious negotiations on
the signing of a definitive Treaty on Economic Union.
They simply discuss a document with vague wording. Alexander
Lukashenko needs all this fanfare simply to demonstrate
(without yielding any of his dictatorial rule in Byelarus)
to the Byelorussian population that its powerful neighbour
Russia backs him.
At the same time, we should bear in mind that the five-year
presidential term of Alexander Lukashenko expired long
ago (on July 20 1999) and that there is no legitimate
parliament in the republic at present either. In view
of all these facts we may assert that the unlawful regime
in Republic of Byelarus constitutes the main obstacle
to real integration of our countries. Any international
treaties signed by Lukashenko after July 20 1999 have
no legal force.
We would like to stress that Yabloko absolutely rejects
the use of force by political extremists from Byelorussian
nationalistic opposition in their struggle against Lukashenko.
We consider it necessary for negotiations between Alexander
Lukashenko and the opposition to conduct nation-wide elections.
In addition, Yabloko believes that the Russian leadership
must maintain contacts in Byelarus not only with Alexandre
Lukashenko, but also with other political forces that
may be interested in economic integration with Russia.
The time has come to find new political partners in Byelarus,
who should replace Alexander Lukashenko.
A capricious and two-faced individual, who is almost
totally disinterested in economic integration with Russia,
the dictator Alexander Lukashenko must not be Russia's
single partner in Byelarus. As Russia virtually sponsors
the economy of Byelarus, such an approach would inflict
no harm on Russia's foreign policy - Lukashenko is doomed
to move in the fairway of Russia's foreign policy. The
Yabloko faction believes that Russia must demand that
Lukashenko conduct open and honest presidential and parliamentary
elections in the Republic of Byelarus