"Of course I approve. I think that we lived better when we were within the Soviet Union than we do now. It feels strange: Here I am in Moscow, but I am a citizen of a foreign country. Many people have relatives across the border. Then again, economically, we have plants and factories and so does Russia. We cannot function without each other."
" Why should people who lived together for so long be separated? I don't understand. Both sides have put up checkpoints and robbed people of their money in border duties: Many people have married and still are citizens of different countries: For both countries, the union is very important. First of all, there will be at least one country that won't join NATO. Second, we all are Slavs."
Galina Kashnina, research assistant, Belarussian:
"I am all for the union. The two countries have an age-old history together. I cannot understand why they drifted apart. We have the same Slavic roots. If we reunite, the standard of life will be higher. Families will reunite, too."
"Economically, I see nothing but advantages. ... Russia is a big country full of natural rources. Belarus does not have such advantages, but we can't go on without each other; we complement each other. I greatly respect [Belarus President Alex-ander] Lukashenko. If he's the one to head the new state, it'll be good for everybody : As for Yeltsin, he's done his mission and has to retire."
director of a circus school, Russian:
"I don't mind a political, economic or cultural union, as long as they do not unite under one leader. Belarus has to remain a sovereign state. I think there are many ways to expand our relationship that we simply won't need a union as such. I don't want to see one president replacing the other. Russia has its own agenda; Belarus should likewise."
"It's a totally useless idea. They [Belarussians] are in poverty, and so are we. If they cannot make both ends meet, Russia can not pull them up. As brothers, we can have an economic partnership. The rest is rubbish: Why should we feed them, when we are ourselves on the dole?: In reality, no one really needs that union. We did not kick them out - they left themselves."