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Opinions & Interviews

9 Jul 2019

Union State Permanent Committee ready to discuss integration together with joint taskforce

Union State Permanent Committee ready to discuss integration together with joint taskforce

MINSK, 9 July (BelTA) - The Union State Permanent Committee is ready to join the discussion of topical issues concerning the integration of Belarus and Russia together with a joint taskforce, State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapota said after the meeting with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 9 July, BelTA has learned.

During the meeting the head of state pointed out the need to address pending issues in bilateral relations on time.

Grigory Rapota agreed with the president’s statement, but remarked that there are no representatives of the Permanent Committee in the taskforce. “There is one detail. The Permanent Committee [of the Union State] is not included in the taskforce [concerning the integration of Belarus and Russia]. Therefore, it is very difficult for us to comment on their agreements. I am in the know in general, but it is difficult for me to specify on any agreements or lack of agreements,” he said.

At the same time, the Permanent Committee does not stand aside from the development of bilateral relations. “The development of Belarus-Russia relations is our direct task and responsibility. We are working on it on a daily basis,” Grigory Rapota stressed. “When the taskforce began to work, of course, we came up with our vision of the situation. I am convinced that it will be useful. If more participation is needed, we are prepared.”

At the meeting the Belarusian president, who is also the chairman of the Supreme State Council, instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address the issue of the Permanent Committee’s participation in the operation of the Belarusian-Russian taskforce.

Grigory Rapota assured that the Permanent Committee is prepared to do its best to develop the Union State in compliance with the 1999 treaty. “There are many serious provisions in this agreement, and they require attention,” Grigory Rapota said.

In his opinion, the Union State should rely on the political and military relations, cooperation in foreign policy, development of a single structure of industrial policy, transport and energy space. “We still have a lot of work. And not only in the judicial dimension because there are no serious legal obstacles for the development of cooperation. A lot has been already polished. But we need significant serious projects to create this single space (in reality, not on paper. – BelTA’s note),” he said. He mentioned the nuclear power plant construction as an example of such successful projects.

Grigory Rapota believes it is essential to wait for the results of work of the taskforce before making any decisions. “The taskforce is working now. Of course, there will be certain progress, I am sure. They will report to the presidents at the meeting in St. Petersburg. Let’s wait and see what we will have there,” he said.

Two things are needed to the resolution of any task. These are political will and a decent level of expertise, the state secretary believes. “Every issue can be solved with strong political will and qualified experts,” Grigory Rapota concluded.

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