Top level integration continues
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko joins Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in confirming intention to promote Union State
By Veniamin Mishutin
On the eve of the Minsk session of the Union State Council of Ministers, the Chairman of the Supreme State Council of the Union State, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, accepted the Russian PM and the Chairman of the Union State Council of Ministers.
The last months of Belarusian-Russian relations have been marked by active dialogue at the highest level, showing the strategic partnership which exists between us in bilateral relationships and in multi-lateral integration unions. Russia remains Belarus’ major trade partner, accounting for around half of the country’s turnover.
However, on welcoming Mr. Medvedev, Mr. Lukashenko noted that some problems continue — including of strategic character; clearly, these need to be discussed. Mr. Lukashenko added that Mr. Medvedev has begun his ‘old new life’ in politics with the organisation of the meeting, which is vital to both states. “This indicates that we attach great attention to the integration process and will continue to do so. We’ll devote attention to this and to our major project of the Union State, promoting it seriously,” the Head of State emphasised.
Mr. Lukashenko assured all present that Belarus is ready to discuss all issues — from Union State construction to defence and finances. Taking into account unfavourable trends from abroad, he noted a ‘range of problems which need to be agreed’.
Mr. Medvedev believes that Belarusian-Russian relations have reached a high level of partnership. “We’ve made important headway over the last year or more, achieving a completely different level of strategic partnership. This pleases us in Russia and I hope that the same mood reigns in Belarus,” smiled the Head of the Russian Government.
Concrete figures show the active collaboration of our two countries. Mr. Medvedev called the level of trade turnover between us ‘unprecedented’ and the ‘highest in the history of our bilateral relations’. “This is the result of our joint activity and integration processes within the Union State and the Customs Union,” he asserted. Undoubtedly, the session of the Union State Council of Ministers in Minsk will give additional impetus to these positive processes. The session tackled issues of economic interaction for Belarus and Russia, as well as liaisons in the spheres of defence and humanitarian issues.
“Overall, we believe that our relations are now solid; we have understanding regarding most current affairs. Of course, some issues remain,” added Mr. Medvedev. The Minsk meeting was dedicated to solving such issues.