The number of Belarusian citizens who support the idea of a union state with Russia has declined by 20 percentage points in the last year, Kommersant reports, citing the results of a sociological study by Andrey Vardomatsky’s Belarusian Analytical Workshop.
While at the start of 2019, more than 60% of Belarusians advocated a union with Russia, by December this figure had dropped to nearly 40%.
At the same time, sociologists have been observing a growth in the number of supporters of Belarus joining the EU. In the last three months of 2019, it grew by eight percentage points, and nearly one third of the country is now in favor of a European vector of development.
Last year the presidents of Russia and Belarus considered it possible that they might sign an agreement to integrate the two countries. They even went as far as to specify a possible date for signing – December 8. However, during their meeting in Sochi, the two heads of state could not approve the proposed integration roadmaps.
Minsk-Moscow relations have subsequently deteriorated sharply, primarily because of disputes regarding the price of the energy resources which Belarus buys from Russia.
In the new year, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly criticized Russia’s leadership.