Belarus interested in closest ties with Russia in all areas
MINSK, 3 December (BelTA) – Belarus would like to make the most of cooperation opportunities with Russia in all the areas, Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda. The interview is available on the official website of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, BelTA has learnt.
“We seek to maximize the benefits of strategic partnership with the Russian Federation in all the fields,” the minister said.
When asked about a formula of strategic partnership, Vladimir Makei said, “In brief, the formula implies the following: a deeper integration coupled with comprehensive and mutually beneficial cooperation in the interests of the two peoples, as well as social and economic progress of Belarus and Russia based on sovereign equality. This formula was formalized by the Union State Treaty that sets forth the priority goals of the Union State construction, ways to reach them and an institutional framework”. Vladimir Makei explained that he meant the Single Economic Space, equality of rights of Belarusian and Russian nationals, an agreed foreign policy, defense policy and security policy.
“The Union State agencies are doing a great job; the Union State budget, programs and property are being expanded,” the Foreign Minister said. He added that at present strategic partnership is not just a formula, but a reality that ensures sustainable and safe development of the two states.
Talking about cooperation in the military and defense area, Vladimir Makei noted that this area has become a pinnacle of the allied relations. “In 2000 the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation set up the regional group of forces as part of the joint defense policy. In 2009 the two countries signed the agreement on joint protection of external border of the Union State in the air and establishment of the single regional air defense system. This agreement allows efficiently responding to existing threats and challenges and strengthening cooperation between the air forces and the air defense forces of the two countries. Belarus and Russia implement a number of joint defense projects financed by the Union State budget,” the Foreign Minister of Belarus said.
He noted that Belarusian and Russian defense experts hold regular consultations to shape a common strategy. “I am pleased to mention the recent events in our defense cooperation where we have great prospects,” the Foreign Minister noted. He reminded that on 23 October Minsk played host to a session of the task group on cooperation between Belarusian and Russian defense companies. The session was attended by First Deputy Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko and Vice Premier of Russia Dmitry Rogozin. A program of events for 2012-2015 was signed following the session. “I am convinced that this program will help considerably expand cooperation between the defense industries and advance the defense cooperation of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation to a brand new level,” Vladimir Makei said.