Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Russian lawmaker calls for emergency session of Belarusian-Russian Parliamentary Assembly

Anatoly Lokot, a member of the State Duma (lower house of Russia’s federal parliament), has called for an emergency session of the Belarusian-Russian Parliamentary Assembly to discuss the recent deterioration in the relationship between the two countries.

"I suggest placing the issue of Russian-Belarusian relations on the agenda of a plenary meeting of the State Duma, calling an emergency session of the Parliamentary Assembly, dismissing [Finance] Minister [Aleksei] Kudrin and prescribing Onishchenko [director of Russia’s federal consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor] a glass of Belarusian milk to detoxify and calm him down," Mr. Lokot, a member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, told the State Duma on June 24, according to Russia's RIA Novosti.

As a result of the recent "milk conflict," the effort to create the Union State of Russia and Belarus is once again in danger of being derailed, Mr. Lokot said. The saddest thing of all is that the row was sparked not by Western politicians but by the words of some Russian figures, in particular, Mr. Kudrin, he said.

"As a result, everything is used, any far-fetched pretexts," Mr. Lokot said. "Yesterday it was gas, today these are money and milk. What will happen tomorrow? Issues are different, but the goal is the same – to drive a wedge between the brotherly nations."

Boris Gryzlov, speaker of the State Duma and chairman of the Belarusian-Russian Parliamentary Assembly, replied that the issue could be discussed at the next session of the Parliamentary Assembly, scheduled to take place in Minsk in September.