Putin about Russia-Belarus union state: Unification not on agenda

The unification of Russia and Belarus into one state is not on the agenda, Vladimir Putin said during today’s Q&A session.

It is the further creating of the Union State of Russia and Belarus that matters now, he stressed. According to him, the Union Treaty has many uniting elements ‘up to creation of a union parliament and launching a common currency’.

“We have agreed with president Lukashenka that we will get back to that Treaty and have a closer look at what else we need to implement and what needs to be corrected. Experts on the deputy prime ministers’ level are tackling the issue at present,” state-run news agency TASS quotes the Russian leader.

At the end of 2018, the Belarusian-Russian relations significantly deteriorated. In late December. there were some meetings of Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader pressed for ‘further integration’ while his Belarusian counterpart insisted on reducing gas prices and getting compensation for the tax maneuver.

On December 25, Lukashenka and Putin agreed to establish a working group on the integration within the Union State. Later, the leaders of Belarus and Russia repeatedly got back to the subject.

On May 29, during the meeting in Nur-Sultan, Vladimir Putin and Alyaksandr Lukashenka discussed the prospects of the ntegration process. According to Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, the leaders instructed the governments to develop integration measures by the end of June.

On June 4, Belarus’ Prime Minister Syarhei Rumas and State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapota met in Minsk to discuss an action plan on integration. The document needs to be prepared by 21 June. However, the details of the negotiations remain under wraps. For example, the government refused to disclose any information to opposition MPs Alena Anisim and Hanna Kanapatskaya. Oddly, Belarusian prime Minister Uladzimir Makey remained tight-lipped about the talks saying that it would be ‘premature’.

Meanwhile, opposition activists who believe that our country does not need the Union State, have launched the public campaign ‘Belarus Go!’ They are collecting signatures for our country’s withdrawal from the alliance.

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