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10 Jun 2016

Call for better performance of Belarus-Russia Union

MINSK, 10 June (BelTA) – The effect of the Union State of Belarus and Russia could be much more tangible. The statement was made by First Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko during the 50th session of the Parliamentary Assembly on 10 June, BelTA has learned.

“The effect of the Union State of Belarus and Russia could be much more tangible. We are concerned about a number of moments when efforts turn out to be less effective than expected,” noted Vladimir Andreichenko.

In his words, the scheme used to adopt Union State programs has been criticized for several years already. “There is too much red tape. When a program is finally adopted, its relevancy raises serious doubts,” said the head of the lower chamber of the Belarus parliament. “Today only those, who own the day-after-tomorrow’s technologies and can create products with a high added value, can compete successfully. Instead we often see how interests of individual agencies or individual economic operators raise artificial barriers on the way.”

As an example Vladimir Andreichenko mentioned the Belarusian-Russian nanotechnology program Elektronmash 65. In line with the program the Belarusian microelectronics company Planar is supposed to make unique equipment for Belarusian and Russian companies. “At first glance, the benefits are obvious. Import substitution, stable supplies, security and secrecy during the production of microchips. The program has been authorized by virtually all the interested sides. However, one ministry has blocked the effort for two years. As a result, Russian companies are forced to buy these products in the European Union or America,” noted Vladimir Andreichenko.

The head of the lower chamber of the Belarus parliament mentioned another fact. Two years ago the decision was made to use industrial subsidies taking into account the expansion of manufacturing cooperation. “Gomselmash harvesters are a fine example of such manufacturing cooperation: the engines come from Yaroslavl, radiators from Orenburg, materials from Russian factories, and the harvesters are assembled in Bryansk. While subsidies for making forage harvesters have been authorized, Rostselmash has blocked the decision on subsidies for grain harvesters. The decision has resulted in losses for manufacturing cooperation companies and agricultural companies,” stressed the Speaker.

The head of the lower chamber of the Belarus parliament believes that bureaucratic barriers represent one of the reasons why the amount of unspent budget appropriations grows every year. “But even timely and full financing often produces contrary results. The programs Diesel, Union State TV, Digital Plastic Card, and Sewing Machines are a vivid example. A lot of money has been spent on them while the desired effect has not been achieved. The development of legal acts able to resolve the problem of inappropriate use of Union State budget money proceeds extremely slowly. Thus, the problem of stepping up oversight, including parliamentary oversight, remains topical,” he said.

Vladimir Andreichenko said he believes that Union State MPs can and should contribute to the removal of the mentioned shortcomings and the acceleration of integration processes. “Apart from purely economic benefits the implementation of promising projects vividly demonstrates advantages of the Union State of Belarus and Russia and the appeal of the integration idea as it is. Lack of results discredits the idea in the eyes of the people. We should be more resolute in resolving the problems,” stressed Vladimir Andreichenko.

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