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Majority of Belarusians support union state with Russia

More than half of the citizens of Belarus would support a union state between their country and Russia, a recent survey carried out by the Belarusian Analytical Workshop has found.

According to BelarusFeed, the poll, which was conducted in August before the final proposal on bilateral integration between the countries became known, found that 54.5 per cent of respondents would prefer “a union of states for the people of Belarus to live in.” The result shows a nine per cent increase in pro-Russian sentiment within the country.

While 25 per cent claim that they would prefer for Belarus to join the European Union instead of Russia, roughly 20 per cent said they were undecided.

Despite the majority of Belarusians supporting a union with Russia, the overwhelming majority, 75.6 per cent, also want both countries to remain independent, with only 15.6 per cent of supporting the creation of a single state.

In 2018, the Russian government put forward a proposal that would unite their country with Belarus in accordance with the 1999 Union State Treaty, the aim of which was to create a confederation of the two countries. Observers point out that the plan was suggested to find a legal way to keep the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in power after his current term in office ends in 2024.

In September, the Belarusian and Russian governments agreed on creating a single tax code while the latest Russian proposal involves integration in energy, taxation, banking and welfare, amongst much else.