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Opinion: Trade issues in Russia-Belarus relations should not be elevated to presidential level

Economy 10.07.2019 | 10:33
Grigory Rapota
Grigory Rapota

MINSK, 10 July (BelTA) - Trade disputes in Russian-Belarusian relations should not be elevated to the level of the presidents or heads of government, State Secretary of the Belarus-Russia Union State Grigory Rapota said in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel on 9 July, BelTA has learned.

According to Grigory Rapota, these issues should be handled in a court of arbitration or a reference laboratory (if product quality readings differ). “There is such a problem. It does occur. This is quite a big irritant in our relations and we should take it off the table. Here you need two things: first, the political will, and second, professional competence. These issues are not of the level of presidents and even heads of government. They must be addressed at some technological level – a court of arbitration or a reference laboratory if product quality readings diverge,” he said.

Grigory Rapota believes that such disputes should be handled at the level of executing agencies. “But they have, unfortunately, become part of the interstate relations,” he added.

Speaking of the common industrial policy in the Union State, Grigory Rapota said that it must rely on innovations. “Such work is in progress. But there are untapped reserves. Scientific and technical progress must be even more visible in the industrial policy of the states. Then scientists will be more in demand while manufacturers will seek to cooperate rather than compete,” he believes.

In general, he views the Union State project as successful. The two independent states virtually eliminated the border, ensured freedom of movement. This fact alone has led to significant positive results. Sometimes difficulties emerge in the relations due to misunderstanding or lack of qualification. But, according to Grigory Rapota, there are no insoluble problems.

When asked about the future of the Union State, Grigory Rapota said he would like to see the dialogue go deeper in all areas and access to scientific achievements and cultural values of each other easier. “I would to see what we call a single structural policy implemented in practice finally so that the common transport and energy space become a reality,” he added.

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