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Opinions & Interviews

5 Dec 2019

Russia’s dedication to integration with Belarus emphasized

Russia’s dedication to integration with Belarus emphasized
Dmitry Medvedev. An archive photo

MOSCOW, 5 December (BelTA) – Russia should treasure its integration with Belarus and should do its best to keep integration going. Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev made the statement during a live interview with top Russian TV channels on 5 December, BelTA has learned.

Dmitry Medvedev is convinced that the Union State of Belarus and Russia is a great treasure. “We often argue with each other and present some grievances particularly when emotions take us too far, but objectively the level of integration between our countries is very high,” he said. As an example the Russian prime minister noted that Russia-USA trade is close to $25 billion while Belarus-Russia trade is $35 billion. “Belarus is a comparatively small country but the figure demonstrates our level of integration. We need to appreciate it. We should do everything to stay integrated,” Dmitry Medvedev stressed.

Speaking about the Treaty on the Establishment of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, which was signed 20 years ago, Dmitry Medvedev described it as a solid legal base for advancing the relations for years ahead. “But everything has changed. We have changed. Belarus has changed. We should take a look at what works and what doesn’t, what has survived the test of time and what hasn’t,” he remarked.

At the same time Dmitry Medvedev believes that any integration takes away some sovereignty. “We also reduced our sovereignty when we became part of the Eurasian Economic Union, when we delegated some of our authority to the supranational level,” he said. “This is why any integration diminishes sovereignty. It happened in the European Union, too.”

Among difficult topics in Belarus-Russia relations Dmitry Medvedev mentioned energy resources and prices for them. “But I am sure that ways out can be found at the government level and the presidential level if it becomes necessary,” he said.

The Russian head of government confirmed he will meet with his Belarusian counterpart Sergei Rumas on 6 December. “We are going to discuss the state of integration,” Dmitry Medvedev said. “Belarus President Aleksandr Grigoryevich Lukashenko will come on Saturday. He will talk to our heads of state. And naturally the governments will be involved in it.”

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