All eyes are on Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka as he and his Russian and Kazakh counterparts prepare for a July 5 meeting in Astana to kick off a customs union.
Belarus has squawked a lot and balked at a unified code to steer the group. Then this week, Minsk hiked its transit fees on Russian oil in a gambit ahead of the gathering.
If Lukashenka doesn't sign on to the customs union, his chances of long-term political survival just might plummet; if he does, he bolsters his prospects for political longevity but likely sacrifices some of his influence.
So will he or won't he?
-- Andy Heil