MINSK, 10 January (BelTA) – Talks about Belarus merging with Russia are stupid and far-fetched. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement during the government conference held on 10 January to discuss the country's social and economic development in 2019 and approaches to further integration work, BelTA has learned.
“Today there is too much talk about the unification of the two countries. I am analyzing the situation in our society and in Russia. Many questions are being asked about the autocephaly of our church in Belarus due to the church situation in Ukraine. I believe these questions are exceedingly stupid and far-fetched for the sake of discussion in our society,” said Alexander Lukashenko.
The president made it clear that the unification of the two countries is out of the question. “I and the president of Russia have decided in no uncertain terms that there is no such item – unification – on the agenda today,” the head of state pointed out.
Alexander Lukashenko reminded that back in the day Belarus and Russia signed the Union State Foundation Treaty and had been advancing their relations in strict compliance with this document. “We were supposed to pass a Constitutional Act in due course, that is the Constitution of the Union State. The document would have regulated everything: administrative powers, executive powers, a single currency, policy. Russia refused to follow this path once. I reminded the president of Russia about it and he agreed it had happened like that. The question is what are we going to do with the Union State Treaty now? We should start negotiations and see what we can do together today in line with the treaty, what we can embark upon without any pressure,” noted the president.
Alexander Lukashenko stated that the union of Belarus and Russia can grow only on the basis of equality. “Not because Lukashenko wants it this way as the situation is presented in Russia but because we are talking about the fundamental principles of building any union. There is no union without equality as foundation,” said the Belarusian leader. “Everything must happen on equality terms. The people of the Russian Federation and Belarus have to want it. We should keep in mind the opinion of our people all the time as we form this union. This is why the unification of the two countries is off the table due to multiple reasons as you understand.”
Russia would not go for it, Alexander Lukashenko is convinced. President of Russia Vladimir Putin confirmed it in a conversation with the Belarusian head of state. “Russia is unable to go ahead with it considering all the consequences. This is why people should calm down and stop talking about someone bending anyone to someone's will. No will will be bent,” noted the Belarusian leader.
Speaking about economic cooperation with Russia, the president stated that virtually all the problems in relations between the countries had been resolved in more or less acceptable ways. “There are small issues we've always told Russians about: the export of our agricultural products, food, and other goods to the Russian market. But they are not critical. I and the president of Russia have agreed that these disgraceful problems must be resolved so that they would never again be on the agenda of our top-level talks,” stressed the head of state.
Certain problems also remain in the sphere of transportation by road. According to Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus has been given worse terms in comparison, for instance, with Poland and Lithuania. “There has been a lot of shouting about the policy of these countries towards Russia, a lot of talk within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, the Eurasian Economic Union, yet we fail to resolve basic problems. I and the president of Russia labeled them as matters unworthy of attention of the presidents, disgraceful issues in Belarus-Russia relations. They certainly need to be addressed and they can be addressed in simple ways,” believes Alexander Lukashenko.