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13 September 2021, 12:42

Deputy PM in favor of ‘two countries, one economy' principle in Belarus-Russia integration

Photo courtesy of ARA
Photo courtesy of ARA

MINSK, 13 September (BelTA) – As they advance integration, Belarus and Russia truly represent a great force together. Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Aleksei Overchuk made the statement in a recent broadcast hosted by the YouTube channel of Igor Tur, a political analyst of the Belarusian TV channel ONT, BelTA has learned.

Aleksei Overchuk said: “We've made very important steps and have specified directions for advancing towards deeper economic integration in detail. This is what I am talking about. A great deal of work has yet to be done. There will be many arguments. We hope that as a result of this large work the principle ‘two countries, one economy' will be implemented. After seeing the example of Russia and Belarus, other countries may want to join in this work either within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union or the Union State of Belarus and Russia.”

The official remarked that after they are finally signed, the reconciled 28 Union State programs will have to be thoroughly “unscrambled” and implemented. The necessary amendments to legislation will have to be introduced and approaches will have to be unified. Then it will become possible to understand what financial effect the adoption of the integration package can ultimately produce, Aleksei Overchuk said. Nevertheless, he is convinced that a direct effect has already been secured: rapprochement is in progress, markets are opening up, and barriers standing in the way of mutual merchandise trade are being gradually lifted.

Aleksei Overchuk said that a lot has been done on the whole since the Union State Foundation Treaty was signed. The border between Belarus and Russia has been virtually removed. Belarusians and Russians can freely live, travel, and work in each other's country.

At the same time there was still an entire stratum of economic issues Belarus and Russia had not touched for a long time. This is why the sides decided to step up work in this direction three years ago. The work resulted in the development of the 28 Union State programs. The deadlines were rather tight and negotiators on both sides worked hard.

Aleksei Overchuk is convinced that Belarus and Russia will always be able to come to terms on various integration-related issues. “It is important that we are together. Together we are indeed a great force,” he stressed. “We are in favor of prosperous Belarus, in favor of the development of tight ties between our nations, and in favor of calmness at our borders. And certainly we are in favor of preserving our spiritual unity and kinship. It is the key,” he said.

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