According to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Russia has suggested offering favorable oil deals in exchange for a unified state. For roughly two decades, Moscow and Minsk have been discussing the possibility of forming such a union, though with no success.

Recent developments have shown growing cracks in their relations.

Following the failure to agree on a new energy deal during a meeting between Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia has reduced its oil exports to its neighboring state. In January 2020, Belarus had hoped for two million tonnes of crude oil for its refineries but received merely 500,000 tonnes.

In response, Lukashenko has threatened to siphon off Russian oil, destined to the European Union, which travels through Belarusian territory. In addition, the traditional ally of Russia has even engaged in talks with its neighbor Poland about possibly importing American and Saudi gas that arrives at Gdansk.