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2 Mar 2015

Belarus-Russia union’s Supreme State Council to sit in Moscow on 3 March

MINSK, 2 March (BelTA) – The agenda of the session of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Belarus and Russia that will take place in Moscow on 3 March includes eleven items, the Kremlin press service told BelTA.

The session will be primarily focused on bilateral cooperation in the trade and economic sphere. The press service noted that Russia is the main foreign trade partner of Belarus.

Due to unfavorable external conditions in 2014 Belarus-Russia trade fell by 5.3% from 2013 to $37.6 billion. For the sake of organizing systemic efforts to overcome the emerging reduction of the mutual trade volume participants of the session of the Supreme State Council are supposed to adopt a program document on priority directions and priority tasks in the medium-term development of the Union State of Belarus and Russia (2014-2017).

The source noted that Belarus-Russia cooperation in investment sphere is good. Russian investments in Belarus have reached $6.3 billion, with Belarusian investments in the Russian economy at $2.3 billion.

The implementation of the largest investment project — the construction of the 2,400MW Belarusian nuclear power plant — stays exactly on schedule, stressed the press service of the president of Russia. The contract costs about $10 billion. The first power-generating unit of the nuclear power plant is scheduled for launch in 2018.

The Kremlin press service also noted that Gazprom intends to invest $2-2.5 billion in the development of Belarus’ gas transport system and $1.1 billion in increasing the capacity of underground gas storage facilities.

Participants of the session of the Supreme State Council of the Union State will have to approve the Union State’s budget for 2015 to the tune of RUB4.872 billion. Despite the negative macroeconomic trends the budget’s volume will not be decreased in comparison with 2014, stressed the press service. In 2015 as much as 42% of the budget will be spent on projects in the production sector, agriculture, energy industry, transport and communications. As much as 26% will be spent on social sphere, healthcare and education, 17% on military technical cooperation and security matters. Less than 10% will be spent on the operation of Union State agencies.

Apart from decisions on the agenda there are plans to sign four bilateral documents that regulate Belarus-Russia relations in migration and social affairs. The number includes an agreement on the procedure for the mutual execution of court orders on alimony collection, an agreement on mutual recognition and the procedure of executing decisions on denying entry to the Belarus-Russia union member states, an agreement on the procedure for sharing information about citizens of Belarus and Russia, who are subject to travel restrictions. Participants of the session will also sign a protocol on amending the agreement on equal rights of citizens of Belarus and Russia to freedom of movement, choice of the place of stay and residence in the Belarus-Russia union member states of 24 January 2006.

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