MINSK, 30 December (BelTA) - The outgoing year has accelerated integration in some areas within the Union State of Belarus and Russia, political analyst Piotr Petrovsky told BelTA.
“The intensification of integration, especially in the economic sector, industrial cooperation and import substitution, kicked off in 2021 after 28 Union State programs were signed. This year has even spurred the process in some areas. For example, the two countries have stopped using foreign currencies, first of all euro and US dollar, in the interstate commodity trade. This process was planned to be completed only in 2024, but the circumstances have pushed the countries to already take this step. We can call it a breakthrough,” the political scientist said.
The deepening of integration processes between Russia and Belarus was a response to the hybrid war by the West and attempts to divide the two nations. Close interaction between the two countries contributes to social stability and the well-being of citizens and protects their interests. In 2023, integration within the Union State will be aimed at developing common markets in industry, construction, agriculture and transport, at removing barriers in mutual trade, and at aligning social guarantees, from healthcare and education to pensions and allowances.
“The Union State budget adopted for the next year can be considered as a set of three main components. The first one comprises the Union State science and technology programs for 2023. They are aimed at innovative development, import substitution, and the development of such industries as space, laser technology, and electronics. The second component is educational, ideological, patriotic and humanitarian programs of the Union State. Their purpose is to maintain historical memory, educational and intercultural development, strengthening of ties between citizens of Belarus and Russia. Another important point is military-political and military-technical cooperation. We can see here an accelerated pace of integration, industrial cooperation, and mutual assistance. Belarus has been supplied with Iskanders and S-400, and our military industry produces components that are vital for the Russian army,” said Piotr Petrovsky.
As BelTA reported earlier, the Supreme State Council of the Union State approved the decree on the Union State budget for 2023 on 26 December. When considering its draft at the session of the Parliamentary Assembly on 19 December, it was stated that the budget revenue would amount to RUB5.966 billion. It will be formed from the contributions of Belarus and Russia, and the unused balances of the Union State budget for 2022. The expenditure part is planned at RUB5.67. The surplus will amount to RUB899 million.