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16 June 2022, 17:18

Call to work faster to align economies in Union State of Belarus, Russia

ST PETERSBURG, 16 June (BelTA) – The Union State of Belarus and Russia still needs to do a lot to ensure a seamless alignment of its economic systems, Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Snopkov said at a panel session on the Union State development during St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on 16 June, BelTA has learned.

“With the domestic market being small, Belarus will not be able to give up the export-oriented economic model without crippling people's living standards and welfare. Therefore, export has been Belarus' economic imperative all these years. That was why we worked to build relations with the EU, China and Ukraine, and search for ‘happiness' in Asia, Africa, and Latin America,” Nikolai Snopkov said.

The first deputy prime minister believes that Russia still does not import enough Belarusian products. Although the Union State and the Eurasian Economic Union declared the policy towards common domestic markets, in practice this is not the case due to a number of unresolved issues, including the difference in energy tariffs, subsidy mechanisms, as well as numerous exemptions and restrictions, especially in public procurement.

“Today, on the heels of the political and moral choice Belarus has made amid the current geopolitical crisis, our economic model is facing the most serious challenge. The issues related to its possible transformation through complete alignment with the Russian economy are not solved as quickly as the situation requires,” the Belarusian first deputy prime minister said and expressed confidence that the parties would be able to reach a compromise on all issues.

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