The integration process within the framework of the Union State is not easy, however, Belarus and Russia must enter a new stage of integration.
Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Semashko made the statement at the opening of a concert on the occasion of Multinational Russia Day in Minsk on Saturday, 8 June.
“The majority of Belarusians and Russians today, perhaps, regret the dissolution of the great Soviet Union, and under other circumstances, this country probably could have turned out a little better,” the diplomat said.
“For a short time, we developed in own ways. <…> It was more difficult for us in Belarus, we are small and resource-constrained. Nevertheless, we have matured as states. <…>
Now Russia sets an ambitious task: having implemented 12 presidential programs, to enter the top five countries in terms of GDP and other indicators. We also set our tasks,” he added.
Enter a new stage together
“Today we are experiencing a new stage of unity between Russia and Belarus. Soon we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Union State, on 8 December. We’ve come a long way.
<…> And, summing up the 20th anniversary of joint cooperation, now we are going through a crucial stage when we decide to move on within the framework of the Union State.
Together with the ambassador, the governments of our countries, we solve this problem, this purpose. The process is not easy, but today we are stating that we must enter a new stage.
Together we are stronger, ” the ambassador stressed and explained what the main goal of integration processes is.
“People of Belarus and Russia should live that way, so their children and grandchildren don’t experience any problems, live a full life, and satisfy all their needs.”
On 30 May, President Alexander Lukashenko gave Semashko authority of the deputy prime minister on the issue of relations with Russia and Belarus in the Union State.
According to the document, he “will bear personal responsibility for promoting the national interests of Belarus in the Union State and relations with Russia.”
At the end of 2018, the Russian side initiated closer integration of Russia and Belarus within the framework of the Union State. In December, Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin met twice in Moscow.
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They agreed on the creation of working groups “to address issues of further integration of the two countries.” On 22 March, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, reported that documents were received from the Russian side with proposals for further integration.
On 24 May, talks were held in Gorki, near Moscow, by Prime Ministers Dmitry Medvedev and Sergey Rumas. The working groups were tasked to clearly identify differences in the positions of Belarus and Russia on integration.
The prime ministers agreed to hold the next meeting in Minsk during the 2nd European Games (21-30 June). During these negotiations, an updated program of action for integration in the Union State will be discussed.