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23 Aug 2019

Belarus, Russia may initial action program on Union State integration in September

Belarus, Russia may initial action program on Union State integration in September

MINSK, 23 August (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia may initial the action program on integration in the Union State of Belarus and Russia in September, BelTA learned from Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas after the prime minister delivered his report to the head of state on 23 August.

Sergei Rumas said: “The president was told that the working group and then the prime ministers have fully worked out the action program on implementing the Union State treaty and are ready to initial it. The program includes 66 clauses. Virtually all of them have been agreed. I had to run several things past the head of state. The government has full clarity on these clauses now. The treaty covers all the spheres of economy, social matters and is designed to further advance integration with the Russian Federation.”

“I think in early September we are going to have a meeting with my counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in order to initial the program,” the prime minister added. Once initialed, the document will be published. “So that the general public could get familiar with it and so that some fears expressed by mass media regarding the content of this action program could be dispelled,” Sergei Rumas said.

The action program is based on the concept, which provides for implementing the principle “two countries – one market”. About 28 roadmaps will be worked out on the basis of the action program. They are supposed to be prepared by 1 November, Sergei Rumas said. The roadmaps will provide for a list of measures to create common markets in specific branches of the economy. From the point of view of commercial entities the program will enable equal conditions – not only energy resources but also the tax burden and equal regulatory requirements, Sergei Rumas explained. It has to be done in order to enable fair competition.

In his words, meetings with representatives of government agencies indicate that most of the companies are ready to compete with Russian partners provided equal conditions are enabled. Some companies and sectors are concerned about such a common market. However, Sergei Rumas specified, the action program and the roadmaps provide for transition periods, which will allow such companies to adapt.

“Anyway, bolstering the competitive ability of companies is our long-term goal. Only then will they be able to work effectively and have a future in the long term,” the head of government concluded.

As for work in the Eurasian Economic Union, the head of state was informed about results of the latest session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council in Kyrgyzstan. In particular, participants of that session once again discussed the common alcohol market of the Eurasian Economic Union and the distribution of import customs duties between budgets of the five Eurasian states. The Belarusian government’s view on the matter was presented before the head of state. The president approved of some of the approaches. The government will have to provide more information about some other matters so that the relevant decisions could be made.

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