MINSK, 9 January (BelTA) – Programs of the Union State of Belarus and Russia must not be curtailed, it is necessary to increase their funding. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he met with State Secretary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia Dmitry Mezentsev, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “It is good that this year is beginning with this event. Sincerely speaking, we have to update the agenda of the Union State and begin by summarizing the accomplishments and sketching out future steps. With this in mind it is necessary to organize an offline meeting of supreme bodies of our Union State. I think we could opt for holding a session of the Council of Ministers and using the results to determine the timing of the session of the Supreme State Council, which will involve top officials of our Union State.”
The realization of industry-specific programs should be the key item on the bilateral agenda, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. “Economic programs, scientific programs, humanitarian programs and other programs that we finance. Curtailing them is out of the question. We have to only increase funding on the basis of the most relevant principles and directions of our work in economy: import substitution and so on. What our states need today. Both Belarus and Russia,” the president noted.
Aleksandr Lukashenko went on saying: “I think we will meet again prior to the session of the Supreme State Council and after the Union State Council of Ministers session. Find some time for us to sit down and work out the agenda of the Supreme State Council session. Contact President Putin's administration to discuss the schedules. We will make up our minds here. If necessary, I will talk to President Putin and we will determine the final agenda of the Supreme State Council session. And we will determine the timing then, will agree it.”
Belarus and Russia are busy implementing Union State programs adopted by the Supreme State Council ordinance of 4 November 2021. Completion rate of 28 Union State programs stood at 67.8% as of 1 January 2023. As many as seven programs have been realized in full: on integration of information systems of state oversight agencies for product traceability; on integration of information systems for transport control; on harmonization of foreign currency regulation and foreign currency control; on harmonization of requirements in counteracting money laundering and terrorism financing in financial sector; on unification of bookkeeping regulation; on integration of information systems of state oversight agencies in the area of veterinary and quarantine phytosanitary control; on the development of nuclear energy industry. The Union State program on the harmonization of tax legislation and customs legislation is in the final stage of implementation.