MOSCOW, 14 January (BelTA) – The Union State project is moving at an accelerated pace, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference for Russian and foreign journalists in Moscow on 14 January, BelTA has learned.
"The Union State pace is moving at an accelerated pace. Last year it got a huge impetus since the countries adopted 28 Union State programs, which are now being implemented in the form of direct action documents," Sergey Lavrov said. “The Union State will evolve towards greater coordination of actions on domestic economic affairs, closer harmonization of the relevant mechanisms: customs, tax and others. We have a Union State parliament that will be more engaged in these processes."
The Russian foreign minister stated that Belarus and Russia have a common understanding of the tasks in the defense sector and the need to reinforce it. "From the point of view of our defense capability, the recent events certainly provided additional arguments (if someone still needed them) in favor of stronger defense capability. There is a complete unity, a complete understanding on this matter," he said.
“The third thing that can and should be mentioned is cultural ties, harmonization, equal rights of our citizens. This work is 90% complete. It will cover the remaining areas as well. There are still small gaps, but ideally we must have absolutely equal conditions for traveling, checking into hotels, getting medical services and many other things which are important for people in everyday life. In accordance with these 28 Union State programs, doing business conditions should also be completely harmonized,” Sergey Lavrov said.
“We have close coordination, common positions in international affairs. Every two years we adopt a program of concerted action in foreign policy. We adopted it at the last joint ministerial session. We hold regular joint ministerial sessions, exchange ministers' visits,” the Russian foreign minister said.
“I have very positive expectations from the further integration of the Union State. The presidents adopted such decision and on their basis the governments signed the Union State programs,” Sergey Lavrov said.