Minsk not discussing political integration with Moscow – Belarusian FM
Belarus does not plan to hold political consultations with Russia as part of the enhanced integration program, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said.
"We are not holding political consultations related to the so-called enhanced integration with Russia and do not plan to do so. This is about deeper economic integration between our countries in a number of areas which are of interest to us and are of real significance to the economic development of our nation," Makei said in an interview published on the news website tut.by.
Proposals to create supranational entities linked to the political dimension of the countries' enhanced bilateral integration were made at the initial stage, he said.
"It is true that at the initial stage, as I understand it, medium-ranked representatives of Russian ministries made certain proposals which were completely unacceptable to the Belarusian side and contravened our understanding of deeper integration between our countries. We said definitively that we could not accept those, and the presidents of Belarus and Russia supported our stance. It was decided to focus on deeper economic integration, which absolutely meets our needs," Makei said.
"We agreed that every proposal aimed at enhancing integration between Belarus and Russia will be based on the Union State Treaty, which was signed almost 20 years ago. There is no need for new ideas or new proposals; all we need to do is look at the provisions of that treaty and check what has been done and what hasn't. The drafts of our program and roadmaps are based solely on the provisions of the treaty adopted 20 years ago," he said.
In late December 2018, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called for updating the Union State Treaty of 1999 after his Belarusian colleague Sergei Rumas proposed that the amount and form of Belarus' reimbursement for the losses incurred from Russia's oil tax maneuver be discussed.
On September 6, 2019, Medvedev and Rumas initialed a package of documents on the treaty's joint implementation, which will be submitted for the presidents' consideration in early December.
The presidents of Belarus and Russia are due to sign the integration program by December 8, 2019, when the 20th anniversary of the Union State Treaty will be observed.