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Belarus, Russia wrap up systemic issues of economic integration

MOSCOW, ( BelTA) – Belarus and Russia have addressed the main systemic issues of economic integration. Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko made the statement after negotiations with Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Mishustin and after a session of the Council of Ministers of the Union State of Belarus and Russia in Moscow on 27 March, BelTA has learned.

Roman Golovchenko said: “We have stated – the Russian prime minister and I – that we are confidently moving along the road of Union State construction. Namely, its economic dimension. Statistics confirms it: in 2022 we increased export to Russia by 40%. In January 2023 and according to the latest data of February and March the trend remains in place. Moreover, we have a positive foreign trade surplus in trade with Russia. It is important that the Russian economy is also steady. Certainly, it helps us because the Russian Federation successfully handles its challenges. It helps Belarus since we confidently step up our deliveries.”

In his words, the sides had to accomplish several important tasks in the course of organizing integration interaction in current conditions. “The reorientation of traffic flows was the first most complicated task we had to deal with,” Roman Golovchenko reminded. “We know that logistics has very seriously affected prices for our products. Not prices for the Russian market but prices for exports to non-CIS states. This is why it was of critical importance for us not to simply redirect export but make it in an economically profitable way. We believe we've accomplished that. Moreover, we've reached an agreement with our colleagues that certain shifts will be implemented with regard to transportation costs, primarily transportation by rail. We are working with over 20 Russian ports. We enjoy rather preferential tariffs, too. This is why everything is fine in this regard.”

The prime minister went on saying: “We can now say that the main systemic issues have been resolved certainly thanks to the Belarus president's aid, who closely monitors these matters and seriously wants us to convert the arrangements reached at the top level into the practical dimension. This is why as a result of today's Union State Council of Ministers session one can say that the 28 programs we have passed have achieved their goals. Today we mentioned that 75% of the steps had been fulfilled. Those are the most important measures and steps. And decisions were made on the main issues. Now we see issues at a lower level, a micro level where some bylaws need to be passed.”

“We have also agreed that we should not generate new documents. In other words, everything that needs to be done is now clear. Now we have to promptly fulfill what we have planned already. This is why we will go down to the micro level and at the level of individual industries and concrete enterprises we will fulfill the agreements that we have reached,” Roman Golovchenko added.
Asked whether some unresolved issues are left to be addressed after today's session of the Union State Council of Ministers and need to be elevated to the level of the heads of state, Roman Golovchenko said: “We are doing as much as possible in order not to burden the agenda of the presidents with tactical issues that the governments are supposed to deal with. The presidents have made all the fundamental decisions. We are now working hard in order to realize them and flesh them out as concrete documents, which are adopted at the government level. Now I don't see any issues that have to burden the agenda of the heads of state with economic problems. We enjoy complete understanding about further joint work.”