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Mikhail Mishustin and Roman Golovchenko made press statements following the meeting of the Union State Council of Ministers

From the transcript:

Mikhail Mishustin and Roman Golovchenko made press statements following the meeting of the Union State Council of Ministers

Mikhail Mishustin: Dear colleagues, dear representatives of the media! First of all, I would like to thank Roman Aleksandrovich Golovchenko and our Belarusian partners for the warm welcome and excellent organization of today’s event.

The meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Union State has just ended. The main thing is that decisions on deepening integration were approved on the basis of 28 Union programs. They are all agreed. These programs define a clear path for collaboration in almost all areas of collaboration. These are industry, energy, finance, agro-industrial complex. Provide for the convergence of approaches in the field of macroeconomics, tax and customs regulation, monetary policy in general. Union programs relate to the transport market, labeling of goods, payment systems, veterinary and phytosanitary control, consumer protection and unification of legislation in the social and labor sphere.

Joint statement

Joint statement by the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus on the current development and further steps to deepen the integration processes within the Union State

On behalf of the presidents – Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Alexander Grigorievich Lukashenko – we accepted Joint statement by the heads of government of Russia and Belarus… It reflected the fundamental tasks of union construction. This statement has been posted so that everyone can read the details in more detail. We expect that the decisions approved today will be approved by the Supreme State Council of the Union State.

We have a common goal – to achieve economic growth, improve the well-being of our people and at the same time preserve the sovereignty of our countries, regardless of the increasingly complicated external environment. Everyone will benefit from integration within the Union State. Entrepreneurs will get new opportunities for doing business, conditions will appear for launching promising projects in industry, transport, energy and many other areas.


Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Union State

And of course, the deepening of interaction will have the best effect on the welfare of the citizens of the Union State. We create equal opportunities for work, social support, and access to education. It is equally important that people find it convenient to travel within the Union State. Taking into account the epidemiological situation, we made a decision (the President of Russia said this yesterday) to fully resume air traffic between Russia and Belarus. In the near future, our citizens will be able to fly without restrictions to the airports of the two countries, which are open for international flights.

Today’s meeting was held in a frank, constructive atmosphere, reaffirming our common commitment to the development of integration. I am sure that all the plans that have been outlined – and they are truly ambitious – will be fully implemented. Both the Russian side and our Belarusian partners are ready for joint active work. Together we will find optimal solutions to the most difficult issues on the basis of mutual benefit and relying on the fraternal character of our long-term relations. This will allow us to fully unleash the creative potential of the Treaty on the Union State.

Thank you for your attention.

Please, the floor is with you, dear Roman Alexandrovich.

R. Golovchenko: Dear representatives of the media!

My colleague, the Prime Minister of Russia, very clearly and succinctly outlined the results of more than two years of work by the governments of Belarus and Russia in the field of building the Union State, aimed at creating a unique and viable integration model with multiple potential. With the unconditional preservation of the sovereignty of Belarus and Russia, this model creates the necessary conditions for dynamic economic development, increases our overall competitiveness, ensures coordination and concentration of efforts to uphold historical and moral values ​​common to our fraternal peoples.

The key goal of integration, as my colleague has already said, is to improve the well-being of our citizens through the coordinated development of the economies of Belarus and Russia. It is the economy that is the determining factor for the effective development of all other spheres of bilateral cooperation, and we have already achieved a lot in this area.

The organic complementarity of the economies resulted in the creation and successful functioning of 2.4 thousand joint ventures. Belarus occupies a leading position in the supply of agricultural and food products, high-tech machinery and equipment to the Russian market. About 50% of the domestic trade turnover falls on the Russian Federation. In turn, the supplies of our strategic ally provide significant volumes of raw materials, components for the export of already joint products to third countries.

In general, this is a reliable guarantee of the stable functioning of the national economic complex in conditions of high external turbulence. This complementarity and significant trade turnover – which is $ 18 billion in the first half of this year – dictates the need to synchronize sectoral economic strategies, remove administrative barriers, and create comfortable and understandable business conditions for the two countries.

Today, another, very important step forward has been taken towards the creation by 2024 of the foundations for the functioning of a single economic space from Minsk to Vladivostok. The Main Directions for the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty on the Establishment of the Union State for 2021-2023 and 28 Union programs were approved, which have already been discussed a lot today and which will subsequently be submitted for approval by the Supreme State Council.

The implementation of these programs, in our opinion, will become a powerful impetus for increasing the volume of mutual trade, developing joint ventures and coordinated measures to support national producers.

The basis has been laid for conducting a joint assessment of economic and political risks in the very near future, in order to take timely response measures on this basis.

In the energy sector, agreements have been reached on the phased formation of unified markets for oil, gas, electricity, which will level the level of energy costs for Russian and Belarusian companies.

At the same time, agreements were reached on a comfortable price at which natural gas will be supplied to Belarus next year.

According to our estimates, only a direct effect from the implementation of the integration package for Belarus is predicted in GDP growth of about USD 1 billion, not counting the additional opportunities for Belarusian business in the Russian market that will be created during the implementation of the Union programs.

The social block of union programs is also significant. In this area, special emphasis is placed on the harmonization of approaches to pensions, social protection measures and support for certain categories of citizens, the introduction of uniform principles of consumer protection and others.

It can be stated with full confidence that in world practice the Union State will act as a model for the movement of two independent states towards each other.

We are facing a difficult time-consuming process of implementing the agreed plans. However, as the meeting of the Union Council of Ministers once again demonstrated, the parties are determined to ensure their implementation in full.

Indeed, as Mikhail Vladimirovich indicated, we have adopted a very complete and extensive statement that implements the fulfillment of the instructions of the heads of state. Yesterday it was absolutely clear and unambiguous that following the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Union State, the citizens of our countries will be fully familiarized with the essence of the economic agreements that have been reached. Therefore, the joint statement that was signed today gives a complete and clear picture of what we have agreed on and on which, most importantly, we will work hard in the coming years to reach the goals we talked about today.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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