MINSK, June 1. / TASS /. Russia and Belarus have entered the home stretch to negotiate all EU economic integration programs, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said after meeting on cooperation with Russia , attended by President Alexander Lukashenko.
“The government has unveiled the outcome of negotiations with its Russian colleagues, which have been actively pursued since last fall. In fact, we are entering the final straight line of negotiating all of the Union’s programs which cover the establishment of a single economic area for the two countries. , in order to ensure equal conditions for the economic entities of Russia and Belarus, “Golovchenko said.
According to the Prime Minister, work on these programs should be completed before this fall.
“We have several problems to fine-tune, in order to be able to finish all the work and present the prepared solutions to the heads of state,” he noted.
Golovchenko stressed that Russia and Belarus are building a new model of relations within the single economic space.
“We are building a new model of relations within a single economic domain in order to ensure not only a level playing field, but new economic models which should evolve synchronously,” the prime minister said, noting that neither sovereignty Belarus’ political or economic situation would not be endangered.
Building a path to integration
Russian-Belarusian integration has lasted for more than 20 years, complicated by the different strategic interests of the two sides and a number of problems in the relations between Moscow and Minsk. According to the 1999 Treaty on the Creation of a State of the Union, the creation of the association implies the adoption of a Union constitution and the establishment of supranational structures (including a bicameral parliament, a court and a chamber of accounts), the creation of a single economic domain, the introduction of a single currency with a single issuing center, as well as unified energy systems, the harmonization of trade and customs policies, and a single tax system. However, these developments are not yet complete.
In December 2018, Russian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus decided to create an intergovernmental working group on the development of this integration. As of November 1, 2019, the parties had prepared 31 draft roadmaps with a number of measures on the establishment of common markets in various areas of the economy. These steps include in particular the unification of tax legislation, the establishment of common petrochemical, industrial, agricultural and transport market conditions.
In December 2019, the two governments had agreed on the bulk of the roadmaps, but had not been able to reach agreements on a number of them. Minsk linked the further integration with falling Russian natural gas prices, compensating for losses due to the fiscal maneuver and removing restrictions on Belarusian products on the Russian market. According to Lukahenko, “no road map could be signed” until these “main questions” have not been resolved. On February 22, 2021, the Belarusian head of state said during his meeting with the Russian leader that the two countries still had 6 to 7 roadmaps to refine.