Belarus and Russia continue to be an example of progressive, thoughtful and mutually beneficial integration, Aleksei Dzermant, a political analyst and a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Belaru, said in an interview with the SB. Belarus Segodnya newspaper BelTA has learned.
According to him, today's meeting between the presidents of Belarus and Russia is a long-awaited event for all those who advocate closer ties between the fraternal East Slavic peoples.
“The Union State programs are strategic documents and specific plans of action in the customs and tax administration, industrial cooperation, energy pricing and a general anti-sanctions policy. Implementing the Union State programs, both countries will unite their economic potentials, align the legislation and thereby strengthen their sovereignty. Because only those states who pursue an independent foreign and domestic policy relying on a solid economic foundation are truly sovereign.
He believes that all the insinuations that the Union State programs are "a sovereignty surrender" are completely bogus. "It is thanks to the economic and military-political alliance with Russia that Belarus has reached the highest degree of sovereignty, which, for example, our western neighbors, who very often acts at the behest of Brussels or Washington often against their own national interests, can only dream about. This is why Belarus has chosen this line of integration as it meets national interests best. Access to the vast Russian market generates significant benefits and creates jobs. Energy at cheaper prices compared to other countries make Belarusian products more competitive. These are the most obvious advantages of the integration for our country," the political scientist emphasized.
In his opinion, rapprochement in social affairs is very important too. Belarusians and Russians should have equal rights and opportunities in education, healthcare, and social security.
"We have long outlined these targets. Many things are already in force, but there are always nuances and barriers that need to be watched and eliminated with a view to making life easier for our people. Then there's security. Here the cooperation with Russia is the closest. Its 'nuclear umbrella' makes it impossible for the West to attack Belarus militarily. The unfriendly forces are forced to reckon with us. They know that they will face an instant retaliation if they decide to attacks us. These are not far-fetched threats. We remember the fate of Yugoslavia and Libya where the West demolished the governments it did not like and actually destroyed those states. This will not work out with Belarus,” Aleksei Dzermant said. “The Union State integration is also good for Russia. It has a surplus in trade with Belarus. Cooperation strengthens Russia's technological sovereignty. Belarus plays a key role in the western direction in terms of security. Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has repeatedly said that we can find such forms of integration, drawing both on the Soviet and European experience, that would not infringe on each other's sovereignty but would keep pace with modern challenges. The Union State programs give us these answers, setting out the prospects of development and demonstrating to all ill-wishers a clear set of mutual benefits.”