17 Oct 2019 18:10

Project to deepen integration with Russia is aimed at strengthening economic security of Belarus - Makei

MINSK. Oct 17 (Interfax) - The idea of in-depth integration with Russia is aimed at strengthening the republic's economic security, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said.

"The main danger to us is economic danger. Another one is an internal danger, and therefore we need to do everything to ensue normal economic development of our country, at which, by the way, the project to deepen integration with Russia is aimed," Makei said in an interview published on the portal tut.by.

The current situation in the region poses threats to Belarus, he said. "In the first place, from an economic viewpoint. We are now suffering losses because we are between a rock and a hard place, the European Union and Russia, which have imposed sanctions on each other," the minister said.

"I believe that any steps, any actions that will promote the economic development of Belarus, will also strengthen our independence and sovereignty," the minister 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.