The meetings of the heads of Belarus and Russia and EurAsEC in St. Petersburg lead, in my opinion, to one evident general conclusion: the transformation period of integration processes in post-soviet countries is on the way. The ideas of integration are no longer things-in-themselves. This is no more an emotional rhetoric about the historical friendship and mental affinity, but rather a pragmatically acknowledged vital necessity. That is why nowadays the transnational organizations reveal more and more features of their different nature. The content of the dialogue becomes more profound and multifaceted.
The Euroasian Economic Community, once set up as a purely economic organization (as is evident from the organization’s name itself), nowadays tends to gain political weight. The testimony of this is the heads of the organization member states’ susceptiveness to Alexander Lukashenko’s proposition to work out an international cooperation concept of EurAsEC. In other words, in the nearest future the organization is to decide what place it wants to take in the political system of the world, how it will dialogue with third countries and interstate organizations. Thus, EurAsEC ceases to be just a close club that targeted at the development of favourable conditions for the trade between its member states. The development of a common market is now seen not as the overall objective, but as a basic element of a deeper integration of the countries whose presidents have demonstrated their political will to such integration during the sitting in Konstantinovsky Palace.
The comparison of the makeup of EurAsEC to the makeup of another interstate entity — the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) — also provokes certain thoughts. Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan take part in the work of both organizations. Armenia is a member of CSTO and has the status of an observer with EurAsEC. Only Uzbekistan that has recently joined the Euroasian Economic Community has no membership in CSTO. However, the president Islam Karimov’s speech on the summit in St. Petersburg about the importance of such notions as security and resistance to global challenges affords ground for the assumption that Uzbek party is considering membership in CSTO as one of the possible options.
Thus, there is a clear tendency among the above-mentioned states towards joining their efforts not only in the economy, but also in politics and security. And here one involuntary recalls the “Siamese twins” that existed not so long ago — the Council for Economic Mutual Assistance and Warsaw Treaty Organization. With the only difference that these two organizations were set up as a result of, choose my words carefully, the persistent policy of the USSR, while EurAsEC and CSTO are entities that evolve by themselves, solely as a result of their member-states’ will. That means that they have a much bigger safety margin and growth potential. Consequently, they have good chances to become a considerable power in the world politics that one will have to take into account. That means taking into account every member-state of these alliances.
The substantial changes in the Belarusian-Russian union are still more profound. The economic, political and military components of integration were formed long ago, and now this is time to shift the accents to the human dimension of these global integration processes. Here stems the close attention to social problems which has resulted in the adoption of a package of documents on equality of rights of Belarusian and Russian citizens within the union. Of course, it will take some time for the documents to undergo certain intrastate procedures before their enactment. But anyway the content of the treaty and the agreements puts the fact of their signing in one line with such event as the conclusion of the treaty itself for the creation of a union state. I beg your pardon for the set pattern, but this is a milestone indeed.
It is evident that such an apparent onward progress is possible only when there is absolute mutual understanding of the parties. And in spite of all the attempts to distort the meaning of the Belarusian-Russian relations, the dialogue is carried on. As you know, there is no shortage of wild guesses about the “incompatibility of the two countries’ social-economic systems”, their political priorities and even the abrasive relationships between the two presidents. But one can believe them only if one lacks awareness of the true content and tone of the dialogue between the heads of our countries. At this point I want to quote Vladimir Putin, whose words, I believe, need no comment. At the sitting of the Supreme State Council in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Putin said: “There are not many countries in the world that enjoy sovereignty. Although they are sovereign, their foreign policy depends a lot on other countries. In this respect Belarus is a unique country. It is small, but it pursues an independent and autonomous policy. This is what Belarus has to pay for. This is what it is blamed for. Russia is going to keep on supporting Belarus on the international scene”.
Obviously, this short phrase expresses both the assessment of our country’s political position and the attitude to it of the Russia’s government.