Union Day of Belarus and Russia – April 2, 2023

Union Day of Belarus and Russia is observed on April 2 annually, primarily in Belarus. It commemorates the agreement signed between Russia’s President, Boris Yeltsin, and Belarus’ President, Alexander Lukashenko, on April 2, 1996, in Moscow. The “Agreement on the Union of Belarus and Russia” enhanced the integration of both countries and strengthened their resolve to offer mutual support to one another. It led to the creation of the “Union State of Russia and Belarus,” a supranational organization aimed at deepening the relationship between Russia and Belarus by integrating their economic and defense policies.

History of Union Day of Belarus and Russia

The Community of Belarus and Russia emerged on April 2, 1996. The signing of the “Treaty on the Union between Belarus and Russia” strengthened the union between both countries. On April 2, 1997, the treaty became the “Union of Belarus and Russia.” On December 25, 1998, several agreements provided greater political, economic, and social integration.

Regardless, the nature of the political entity remained vague. Pressured by his political opponents, who argued for a reunion of the two states, and by Lukashenko, who wished to tie his weak economy to Russia’s stronger one, Yeltsin decided to create the Union to harmonize the political and economic differences between the two nations. Some believe Lukashenko intended to become the president of a future Russia-Belarus federation after Yeltsin’s demise. However, after he resigned, Vladimir Putin was elected in 2000 to succeed him as president of Russia; Lukashenko had to cancel his plans to keep a balance between the independence of Belarus and Putin’s increasing pressure for further integration between the two countries into the Union State.

December 8, 1999, was the signing of the “Treaty on the Creation of a Union State of Russia and Belarus.” The intent was to create a federation like the Soviet Union, with one head of state, legislature, flag, coat of arms, anthem, constitution, army, citizenship, and currency. The Russian State Duma and the National Assembly of Belarus ratified the Union on December 22, 1999, and January 26, 2000, respectively. The Treaty and the Union also came into effect that day.

Union Day of Belarus and Russia timeline

1996
The Community of Belarus and Russia

The community is founded in Moscow through an agreement signed between Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.

1997
Another Treaty Strengthens the Union

After signing the "Treaty on the Union between Belarus and Russia,” the community becomes “the Union of Belarus and Russia.”

1999
The Union State

The “Treaty on the Creation of a Union State of Russia and Belarus” aims to create a federation like the Soviet Union.

2000
The Treaty and Union Come Into Effect

The National Assembly of Belarus ratifies the Union and it immediately comes into effect.

Union Day of Belarus and Russia FAQs

When did Belarus get independence?

Occupied by Nazi Germany, Stalin’s Russia retook Belarus in 1944, and it remained under the Soviet’s control until August 25, 1991, when they gained independence.

Was Minsk a part of Russia?

Yes, it was part of a region annexed by the Russian Empire in 1793.

What language do they speak in Belarus?

The official languages are Belarusian and Russian.

How to Observe Union Day of Belarus and Russia

  1. Read a book about the Union State

    If you wish to know more about this topic, you can look for a book such as “Russian-Belarusian Integration Playing Games Behind the Kremlin Walls” by Alex Danilovich. It’s sure to be an interesting read.

  2. Reseach more about the leaders of Russia and Belarus

    There are many biographies and free articles on the internet about them. Especially look into Boris Yeltsin, Alexander Lukashenko, and Vladimir Putin to better understand the creation of the Union State and current events.

  3. Share your thoughts about the Union State with others

    Discuss the topic with your friends and family in real life or on social media. Use the hashtag #UnionDayOfBelarusAndRussia to make your posts easy to find.

5 Important Facts About Belarus

  1. They have had just one president

    Since 1994, Lukashenko has been the only president; he’s the longest-sitting president of Europe.

  2. The name has an alternate meaning

    The literal meaning of the name Belarus is ‘white Russia.’{They enforce the death penalty

  3. They enforce the death penalty

    Belarus is the only country in Europe officially using the death penalty.

  4. It has a wide forest cover

    About half of the country has forests; Minsk alone has over 844,000 trees.

  5. It’s full of Europe’s heaviest land animal

    The Białowieża Forest in Belarus is home to 800 European bison.

Why Union Day of Belarus and Russia is Important

  1. It’s a way to understand the relationship between Russia and Belarus

    Nowadays, Russia, its allies, and surrounding countries are discussed a lot in the media. Understanding the history of the Union State can help us better understand how these countries behave with one another.

  2. It’s a window into Belarus

    Most people generally don’t know much about Belarus. This day can be an incentive for them to learn about this country.

  3. It teaches us more about international trading

    The Union State is an example of a trade bloc, an intergovernmental agreement that reduces or eliminates trade barriers. Despite that, they also share a defense and military development policy.

Union Day of Belarus and Russia dates

YearDateDay
2023April 2Sunday
2024April 2Tuesday
2025April 2Wednesday
2026April 2Thursday
2027April 2Friday

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