Posted: 17.04.2024 10:02:00

Co-operation guidelines have been set


Why the Belarus–Russia unification model sparks interest from other countries

Over the past years, Belarus and Russia have evolved from the Community to a full-fledged Union State, within the framework of which a great number of joint programmes have been implemented, while the co-operation experience between the two countries is used in various integration platforms

                                 The President of Belarus,
                              Aleksandr Lukashenko,

“The EAEU should, in turn, adopt our best practices — open borders and complete freedom for the movement of people and workforce. We do not have any restraining factors here today. We are doing everything for the benefit of our people in this regard. 
I think the EAEU should follow suit. Moreover, we have political, diplomatic, and military components in the Union State, which the EAEU does not have. I think these are the main issues that the EAEU should consider and adopt from the Union State.”

At the election of deputies to the House
of Representatives of the National Assembly
and local councils, 
on February 25th, 2024

The Eurasian benchmark

The interest in the Union State in different years was primarily caused by the achievements of the integration. The developments of the Union State are truly large-scale. The trade turnover in 2023 reached a record $54bn, which is 6 percent more than in 2022. However, if you look at the entire range of activities implemented within the Union State, you can see that it is by no means confined to the economy. 
Within the framework of the Union State, equal rights of nationals of the two countries are ensured. This applies to education, healthcare, labour legislation and other areas. In contrast, the EAEU is limited by economic integration only. The experience of the Union State proven by 20+ years of practice allows solving a lot of issues of the Eurasian Union. The EAEU may also be interested in the experience of tax harmonisation between Belarus and Russia, the union programme for which is currently underway. The same applies to the industrial, scientific and technical co-operation developed in the Union State.
At present, the interaction between Russian and Belarusian auto giants — KAMAZ and BELAZ — has intensified. Belarusian manufacturers are developing full-cycle production, from stamping frames to engines and high-tech ABS systems, and other assembly units equipped with electronics that are in demand by Russians. Belarusian enterprises offer their best practices in the production of machine tools and equipment, as well as some types of microelectronics.
In the future, the EAEU has every chance to repeat the positive experience of the Union State at its level and to actually expand the Union State to its borders.  

Minsk district customs clearance office, warehouse           VLADIMIR SHLAPAK          

Proceeding from the realities 

The accomplishments of the Union State indicate that we have travelled a path that can be expanded to other countries. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the growing crisis of the unipolar world. 
An increasing number of countries are dissatisfied with the policy of the United States as a global gendarme and seek to pursue an independent course. The formation of a new multipolar world requires appropriate resources. The capabilities of the Union State are very useful in this regard.
A lot of countries are involved in co-operation with Belarus and Russia. Thus, for 45 years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran has not only withstood the sanctions aggression of the West, but also has made tangible achievements in the field of import substitution — from military-industrial complex products to pharmacology, robotics and aircraft construction. Today, Iran has a fruitful and dynamic co-operation with Belarus and Russia in developing the vital North-South transport corridor which enables cargo to be shipped from the Union State to the southern ports and then — to the far arc countries. Minsk and Moscow have plans on launching joint ventures in liaison with Tehran. Let us not forget about Cuba, the distance from which does not prevent Havana from working vigorously with our countries. Cuba already acts as an observer within the EAEU. Thus, Havana has the potential to become the most powerful logistics hub in Minsk and Moscow’s trade relations with Latin American states.
Belarus and Russia have been pursuing a balanced and realistic policy for all these years. It is necessary to remember that any expansion of integration should be based on practice. There should be nothing in excess in this matter, let alone artificial. An example of the latter is European integration. The EU is bursting at the seams today precisely because many of its projects have turned out to be far-fetched and artificial. Integration for the sake of integration is not necessary and benefits no one. Integration must proceed from the realities and life. This is exactly the case and the major advantage of the Union State. 
Kamenny Log checkpoint, Oshmyany District               Vladimir Shlapak

Carrying out joint actions

In January 2024, the Supreme State Council of the Union State conducted a detailed analysis of 28 programmes  implemented for the period from 2021 to 2023. What exactly has been done so far? 
In short, five integrated information platforms have been created. The goods are now tracked and labelled along the whole territory from Brest to Vladivostok, with unified transport, veterinary and phytosanitary surveillance in effect. Currency and customs regulations have been harmonised. Measures to ensure information security in the financial sector have been developed, as well as unified rules for access to public procurement, competition rules and trading activities. Experts have identified approaches to the formation of a unified industrial policy, and joint investment projects are being implemented. 
The working conditions in the transport and communications markets have been formed. The conditions for mutual access of tour operators to the travel services market have been determined. On top of that, the security sector is a fine example of collaboration where our countries act as a single defence structure.

Integral OJSC, micro chips               YELIZAVETA KOBETSKAYA

Working on equal terms

Industrial co-operation is gaining momentum along the integration path. In addition, there is a tendency in the Union State to move from the ‘import substitution’ concept to the term ‘technological independence’. After all, this largely refers not to substitution with elements of copying, but to creating our own products with advanced characteristics. To this end, Belarus and Russia have joined forces in the economic sphere. Thus, large investment projects are already being implemented at Gomselmash [Belarusian manufacturer of agricultural machinery based in Gomel], Minsk Bearing Plant (MPZ trademark), the Belarusian Steel Works (BMZ trademark) and others. Another important area of co-operation is machine tool construction. Significant finances have already been allocated for its advancement.
At a meeting of the Supreme State Council in January 2024, the main directions for implementing the provisions of the Treaty on the Creation of the Union State for 2024-2026 were approved. The focus remains on the creation of a single economic space. At the same time, the block on humanitarian co-operation — science, culture and education — has grown significantly.  
The strategy for scientific and technological development of the Union State for the period until 2035 has been approved. Belarusian and Russian scientists will be able to take advantage of the entire infrastructure of fundamental and applied research created in the two countries on equal terms.

Gomselmash, assembly line       Tata Kaverina 

Research Institute of Electronic Computers OJSC         Aleksandr Kulevsky

By Piotr Petrovsky, Anna Kurak