Union State Agreement

Two decades after Russia and Belarus signed an EU treaty aimed at further integration, the two countries continue to debate the terms of the agreement without much success. The latest breakthrough took place in early February, with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko visiting Sochi to discuss with Russian President Vladimir Putin the process of integration within the State of the Union. The legislative power (Article 39) of the UNS is composed of the House of Union (36 representatives from each of the two Member States of the two chambers of its national parliaments) and the House of Representatives (75 deputies of the Russian Federation and 28 deputies of Belarus, elected by secret ballot on the basis of universal suffrage). A decision of the House of Representatives is not adopted if more than a quarter of the total number of deputies voted against. This means that 26 votes are enough to block a decision. If the law is passed by the EU parliament, but if one of the Member States opposes the law, it will ultimately be rejected. On the other hand, before the meeting between Putin and Lukashenko, Tichanovskaya, based in Lithuania, warned the Russian head of state: “Whatever he accepts and what he agreed at the Sochi meeting, there will be no legal value, because all the agreements signed with the illegitimate Lukashenko will be reviewed by the new Belarusian government.” Will Belarus join Russia in a single state or will it maintain the status quo and improve its relations with the West? In the meantime, if an agreement is reached, the two countries should deepen their alliance. It should be noted that Mr Putin and Mr Lukashenko report that they had telephone conversations six times in August and that country officials, such as the Prime Minister, the Foreign And Defence Ministers, have met in Minsk and Moscow over the past two months. As a result, in the mid-2000s, the steam of the State of the Union seemed to have dissipated. Russia then began to launch other integration projects in the post-Soviet space.

Belarus joined them all in the hope that economic integration would lead, among other things, to identical oil and gas prices for companies in all participating countries. And Moscow is committed to that. But it never filled it. One of the main circles in the structure of trade union bodies to be formed is Parliament. Its lower chamber – the Chamber of Deputies will be elected on the basis of universal suffrage in a secret vote.