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Lukashenko: No Single Economic Space, Customs Union without Belarus

MINSK, 1 December (BelTA) – Neither the Single Economic Space nor the Customs Union that has been created in the territory of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan is possible without Belarus. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko made the statement as he met with Sergei Glazyev, Executive Secretary of the Customs Union Commission, on 1 December.

Starting the meeting, Alexander Lukashenko said he would like to discuss matters relating to the formation of the Single Economic Space with Sergei Glazyev. “We once reached an agreement that a year or two later you would tell me your honest and principled view on what we have achieved, what we can achieve, what we have failed to achieve and to what Belarus should pay close attention,” said the President.

“You must understand perfectly well that without Belarus neither the Single Economic Space nor the Customs Union is possible. Therefore as a man that stood virtually at the source of the process together with others you will be absolutely sincere because you are interested in success,” said the head of state.

“It is no secret that Belarus will be a special country in the Single Economic Space because its economy is not like that of Russia and Kazakhstan. They have more natural resources, they are stronger as far as hydrocarbons are concerned and the fact determines the economy, development to a large degree these days,” said Alexander Lukashenko. “Therefore Belarus should certainly keep in mind some things that you can tell me and advise me on, about how we should act”.

The Belarusian head of state also said he would like to talk to Sergei Glazyev about several personnel matters, including the creation of the Eurasian Economic Commission and its working bodies – the council and the board – that will start operating as from 1 January 2012. “What are the requirements for these people because we will send several our executives there? It is very important for me, too,” said the President.

In turn, Sergei Glazyev remarked that virtually the entire action plan the heads of state came up with in 2007 to set up the Customs Union had been fully accomplished. “Stages and terms for forming the single customs territory have been fulfilled as well as the action plan to enforce the Customs Code. We have fully completed this first stage of integration – the creation of the Customs Union. Now after the signing of the agreement on the Eurasian Economic Commission in Moscow we are moving on to the next stage,” he said.