MINSK, 9 May (BelTA) – We should not be afraid of closer integration with Russia because it is still quite far from the level that exists in the European Union, Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yuri Ambrazevich said in an interview with ONT TV channel, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"We have long made a strategic choice in favor of the allied relations with the Russian Federation. Our military-political relations have been formalized at the highest level and guarantee our security, the security of Belarus as a state and every Belarusian citizen. Our membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization is an additional Eurasian regional element of our security. We have recently been able to see the capabilities of this organization in Kazakhstan," the deputy minister said.
Yuri Ambrazevich also answered the question as to who else might be interested to join the Union State: "In the current context this question is primarily addressed to the members of the EAEU. A number of CIS countries are, in one way or another, are connected with Belarus and Russia primarily thanks to economic, humanitarian and human ties. This potential is far from being exhausted."
The Belarusian diplomat stated that the Union State is indeed the most advanced form of integration in the post-Soviet space. "But we need to understand (and the political leaders of our countries have already spoken on this) that even if we compare the Union State integration of Belarus and Russia with the level of integration within the EU, we still need to move seriously forward in order to bring it to the level that we see among European partners now (for example, in terms of foreign policy and a number of other issues)," Yuri Ambrazevich believes.
"There is no need to be afraid of this. In fact, when they say that integration with Russia is a direct path to the loss of Belarusian sovereignty, it is nothing like that. Belarus has no less sovereignty than Belgium, the Czech Republic or someone else," the deputy minister stressed.
For example, Belgium mainly trades with Germany, but in security issues, it relies on NATO, the diplomat added.