Excellent example for integration

Belarus-Russia Union State provides model for other integration associations, notes Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, on meeting the Chairman of the Russian Government, Dmitry Medvedev

By Vladimir Khromov

Belarus-Russia Union State provides model for other integration associations, notes Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, on meeting the Chairman of the Russian Government, Dmitry Medvedev

Alexander Lukashenko during his meeting with Dmitry Medvedev

Alexander Lukashenko during his meeting with Dmitry Medvedev


This year has proven rich for Belarusian-Russian high level contacts, held in various formats and solving vital issues. Many have proceeded from the context of Eurasian integration, bringing forth bilateral agreements. Some need to be formalised within the Union State, coming before the Union State’s Council of Ministers, in Minsk.

Before the recent meeting began, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met the President of Belarus, Mr. Lukashenko, who reminded him of his vision for the Union. Against the background of Eurasian integration, the ‘dvoika’ format continues to have relevance, since rapprochement between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan (and Kyrgyzstan in future) remains economically focused.

Mr. Lukashenko remarked on having often been asked what will happen to the Union State of Belarus and Russia in view of the launch of the Eurasian Economic Union. “Speaking honestly, if our co-operation with Russia in the Eurasian Economic Union reaches the same level we enjoy within the framework of the bilateral agreement, we won’t need both structures. For now, we have neither a political component, nor diplomatic or military within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. Let the Union State remain as a reference point for other integration associations.”

The President stressed that Belarus and Russia are commencing the new year without any problems in their relations. “We can work calmly, building on our relations in all areas: from power engineering to trade in goods,” noted Mr. Lukashenko. “This is a large step and a great accomplishment in itself.”

Mr. Lukashenko thanked Mr. Medvedev for his recent efforts to promote bilateral relations and thanked the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Arkady Dvorkovich, for his contribution to bilateral relations and the resolution of disputes.

Mr. Medvedev agrees that the Union State of Belarus and Russia is a special integration association. In his words, despite integration accomplishments in other areas, including the Eurasian Economic Union, none yet match the Union State for their level of interaction and the breadth of issues. Mr. Medvedev also sees the Union State as a reference point for other countries integrating into the Eurasian Economic Union. He remarked that bilateral relations are experiencing no real obstacles at present. “We’ve dealt with all the major issues. Some emerge periodically but this is normal. It seems to me that we must now step up trade interaction,” said Mr. Medvedev, adding that additional opportunities exist for Belarusian partners on the Russian market, especially regarding food supply.
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