Relations between Minsk and Moscow have seriously deteriorated in recent weeks, with the approach of the Belarusian presidential elections to be held on Sunday August 9. Indeed, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in this post since 1994 and vying for a sixth term, accuses Moscow of supporting the opposition, itself having so far endeavored to silence any form of protest, most often with the blessing of the Kremlin. However, the latter now opposes a more than symbolic resistance in negotiations between Minsk and Moscow on the union treaty, an agreement signed in 1999 which was to allow a close integration of federalism between the two countries, and which for a long time conferred on Belarus a special status in Russian international relations.
But today, President Lukashenko is convinced that Moscow would prepare to act, on the occasion of the upcoming elections, to seize power in Minsk, and thus bring about a forced integration comparable to that of Crimea in 2014. Thus, on July 27, the Belarusian security forces intervened to arrest 33 men presented as Russian paramilitaries belonging to the private military company Wagner, and arrived 3 days earlier as a group. According to the Belarusian authorities, nearly 200 Russian paramilitaries are said to have entered Belarusian soil on the eve of the elections, raising fears of military action punches, see attacks in order to justify Russian military intervention.
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