Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Anschluss Will Be a Foreclosure

Well, the Anschluss between Russia and Belorus that I've expected won't involve anything as obvious as tanks rolling into Minsk. Russia will just buy the place:

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister, flew to Minsk on Thursday to offer Belarus about $3bn in loans over three years from the Eurasian Economic Community, in return for undertaking economic reforms and privatising state companies – which could see Russia take controlling stakes in strategic assets such as oil refineries and pipelines.

A year and a half ago, Putin said that economic preferences for Belarus would require political integration. I wonder what elements of control Moscow extracted for these loans?

No need for Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to be nervous at all, eh?