Belarus is withdrawing from the Eastern Partnership, an EU project that Moscow considered deliberately anti — Russian and aimed at separating its closest allies from the Russian Federation. Minsk’s participation in it used to cause conflicts between us and Belarusians, but now Alexander Lukashenko will no longer be able to play “multi-vector”: the doors to Europe have to be closed forever.
The so-called Eastern Partnership (EAP) was created in 2009 when Russia’s relations with the European Union could still be described as tolerable. Despite this and despite Brussels ‘ assurances of purely good intentions, Moscow took the project at its own expense — as initially anti-Russian, aimed at its geopolitical deterrence. There were indeed prerequisites for this.
Firstly, the initiators of the EAP were the Poles, from whom it makes no sense for us to expect something good. At the same time, Warsaw wanted to implement this idea so much that they did not take into account the feelings of Romanians and Bulgarians, who had their own integration projects for Eastern Europe.
Secondly, the founding congress of the new association was hosted by Prague — the place of the most active “spy games” between the Russian Federation and the West and the capital of anti-Russian propaganda in Europe, where emigrants from among radical oppositionists often settle for permanent residence.
Thirdly, it looked like Russia’s response to its intervention in the war in Georgia, and Tbilisi seemed to be encouraged for attacking South Ossetia, promising a visa-free regime and other European “buns”.
But the main thing, perhaps, is that “good-neighborliness”, “cooperation” and “development of democracy” — the stated goals of the Eastern Partnership — immediately began to be described in such categories as the creation of a free trade zone. In the future, this meant the loss of Russia’s commercial and industrial positions along the entire border of its western borders. And in the case of creating a duplicate system, when one of the EAP countries uses trade preferences both in the east and in the west — a “dumping war” on some categories of goods.
Thus, the appearance of the EU EAP spurred the creation of the Customs Union, which was subsequently expanded and transformed into the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Russia tried to protect the sphere of its traditional influence from obvious economic and potentially political encroachments from the West.