Belarus and Russia may agree on a roadmap of the countries’ integration by 8 December, said Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei in an interview with the RBC.
The document doesn’t reportedly stipulate for in-depth political integration, as well as it doesn’t have a clause on the single currency. However, the states will jointly work on a single tax code.
Sovereignty is sacred
“Before taking about the introduction of a single currency and establishing a single emission centre, one should have normal economic and trade cooperation, remove all barriers and obstacles in the first place.
There are no and won’t be any political issues about the creation of a federation or confederation. I repeat once again that sovereignty for both states is sacred and Belarus does not intend to sacrifice it for the sake of some market reasons,” the minister said.
During the negotiations on the integration plan, the Russian side voiced some ‘absolutely unacceptable’ proposals, including the creation of several supra-national bodies.
Then the sides unequivocally decided that these proposals do not comply with the provisions of the Treaty on Union State, and it’s better to focus on current economic issues instead.
Vladimir Makei also supposed that the leaders of Russia and Belarus may sign the action plan on 8 December. The date will mark the 20th anniversary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia.
Before starting in-depth integration, such problems as “a tax maneuver, removing barriers to the supply of the agricultural and industrial products, resolving contentious issues on gas and oil prices” need to be resolved.
Integration with Russia
Officially, the “Program of actions of Belarus and Russia to implement the provisions of the Treaty on the creation of the Union State” has not yet been published. Moscow and Minsk did not essentially comment on the integration plan.
Ten days ago the details of the integration program became public. It is designed for a year and a half and provides for partial integration of the two economic systems since January 2021.
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According to the plan, Russia and Belarus will create a single Tax Code and Civil Code, introduce a single foreign trade regime, unified accounting of property and almost unified banking supervision with two central banks.
In addition, the document provides for the creation of a single regulator of the markets for oil, gas, electricity and energy and harmonized government control of the industries. Such a level of integration is higher than in the EU, the Kommersant news agency that leaked the details stresses.