MOSCOW, 10 September (BelTA) - The pace of the Belarus-Russia integration is predicated, among other things, upon the change in the balance of forces in the international arena, Sergei Rakhmanov, co-chairman of the A.A. Gromyko Association for Foreign Policy Studies, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, said during the Moscow-Minsk video conference in the follow up of the meeting of the presidents of Belarus and Russia, BelTA has learned.
"The integration has recently picked up steam, and this is determined, among other things, by the change in the balance of forces in the international arena," said Sergei Rakhmanov. “The movement towards each other manifests in intensive contacts between our leaders, who have met for the fifth time this year, which is unprecedented in international practice."
Sergei Rakhmanov stated that the economy is the key to better well-being of citizens of Belarus and Russia. "If we implement the agreements [reached at the meeting of the presidents on 9 September] we will, first of all, increase the level of our self-sufficiency,” he said. “The excessive dependence on external factors is fraught with instability, because turbulences in the global economy have an impact on the situation in Russia and Belarus. This does not mean that we should fence off from the world. This means that we will take important steps to advance import substitution in order to replace the products that we buy abroad."
"In this context, another thing is very important: we are essentially consolidating the society. The movement of Russia and Belarus towards each other is an extremely important factor. Thanks to this, we will feel like a single community. It will be an important civilizational component as it will provide a sense of confidence and greater stability, a sense of fraternity. Our people will feel more confident about the future, not only for themselves, but also for their children and grandchildren," Sergei Rakhmanov noted.