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17 Oct 2014

Lukashenko in favor of efficient integration in Union State, EEU

MINSK, 17 October (BelTA) – Integration in the Union State and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) should be more efficient, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told a press conference for the Russian regional mass media, BelTA has learned.

“The EEU is a purely economic union. At present we have not yet reached even half of the level of integration we have in the Union State. People of Belarus and Russia have almost equal rights. The countries have developed a united defense space. We work together in education, healthcare, other areas” the President noted.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, the EEU Treaty provides for the lesser level of integration than the Customs Union. “I spoke to Putin and Nazarbayev about this. They did not like it. We reproached our partners for sidestepping the Customs Union principles: Russia – “because oil and gas are expensive things”, Kazakhstan – for some of its principles. Why start this customs, economic union if you are afraid of it,” the President wondered.

With all integration processes in the union of the two states, Alexander Lukashenko believes that people of Belarus and Russia are not satisfied with the status of implementation of the Union State Treaty. “We need these processes to be faster, more efficient. People want to see benefits of this union,” he stressed.

The Belarusian leader believes that the main principle of building any union is equality of the member states. “We should have held a referendum on the future Union State Constitution that would speck every single issue: territory, authority and parliament. Russia was not ready for it. We negotiated the single currency. It should have been an independent single currency, the same as in Europe. The emission center should be based on equal conditions. All the issues should be addressed in the interests of the two nations. Russia wanted the emission center in St Petersburg or Moscow, and the Central Bank to be in charge of everything. What equality is it? We failed to create the fundamentals of our future integration back then and today these processes are much slower than we expect them to be,” the President said.

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