(FT) Welcome to Russia,” says the big sign marking the border from Belarus on the main road from Minsk to Moscow. But as Roman, a truckdriver from the Belarusian town of Orsha, passes underneath, he lets out a sarcastic snort. His lorry, which delivers sausages to the nearby Russian city of Smolensk, has just been held up in Belarusian customs for an hour.
More than three years after Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan removed controls at their borders to promote smoother trade, Belarusian customs officials are back at Krasnaya Gorka, the biggest crossing into Russia. The inspectors are thorough, checking almost every vehicle as an icy wind whips the snow across their backs.
“This border had almost disappeared, but now it has become very difficult,” Roman says. “I would rather not come here any more if I had a choice.” […]
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