Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#36 - JRL 2009-108 - JRL Home
'Milk war' between Russia, Belarus has political hidden motive - pundits
June 9, 2009

The situation around limiting imports of Belarusian dairy products to Russia shows the inefficiency of both countries' intergration within the Union State, however, these are temporary difficulties rather than a crisis, Interfax reported on 9 June quoting Russian political analysts.

"Clearly, the fact that (Russia and Belarus) fail to agree on a matter like this means that, at this stage, both countries' efforts to build the Union State are ineffective. However, this is the same difficult path that many EU countries took at the time when they had difficult negotiations on setting up the Common Market," Sergey Markov, director of the Institute for Political Studies, said as quoted by the report.

"I would describe what is happening between Moscow and Minsk now as difficulties of temporary nature. The alternative to these difficulties certainly exists, but this is a bad alternative that means giving up the integration and the Union State. Neither Moscow nor Minsk need this alternative," the report quoted Markin as saying.

Limiting the access of Belarusian dairy products to the Russian market has a political hidden motive, Aleksey Malashenko, a member of the Moscow Carnegie Centre research council, has said.

"All this "milk war" clearly has a political hidden motive and no other. This is not going to affect price rises for dairy products in Russia," Malashenko said. The violations similar to those Belarusian producers are accused of were revealed in "hundreds of Russian companies and nothing has been done against them", the report quoted him as saying.

Russian privately-owned television channel Ren TV on the same day quoted outspoken political commentator Yuliya Latynina as saying the following: "Lukashenka keeps waving the union in front of us like a carrot, but in Lukashenka's understanding, the union is like a union of an intestinal worm and intestines. The worm is independent from the intestines, while the intestines from the worm are not. This is Lukashenka's ideal,"