Meeting with Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev

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The Union State of Belarus and Russia should remain the reference point for other integration associations. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he met with Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev in Minsk on 21 October.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that he often has to answer the question of what will happen to the Union State of Belarus and Russia in view of the launch of the Eurasian Economic Union. “I speak directly: if our cooperation with Russia in the Eurasian Economic Union reaches the level we enjoy within the framework of the bilateral agreement, then we will not have to keep the two structures at the same time. But for now we have neither the political component, nor the diplomatic one, nor the military one within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. It should remain a kind of a reference point for other integration associations,” said the Belarusian leader.

“Moreover, it is likely that we are not going to rest. We will move on, improving the legal base and advancing in matters, which are interesting for our people and the Russians,” noted the Belarusian head of state. He added that the workload in the areas that the sides have to advance had not been reduced.

The President stressed that Belarus and Russia are about to start a new year without any special problems in relations. “We can work, calmly building our relations in all areas starting with power engineering and ending with merchandise trade,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “It seems a large step and a great accomplishment on its own”.

Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked Dmitry Medvedev for everything that has been done recently for the sake of the bilateral relations and for Belarus in particular. He also thanked Vice Prime Minister of Russia Arkady Dvorkovich for his contribution to the bilateral relations, the resolution of disputes. “I hope we will carry on like that,” concluded the Belarusian leader.In turn, Dmitry Medvedev agreed that the Union State of Belarus and Russia is a special integration association. In his words, despite integration accomplishments in other areas, including the Eurasian Economic Union, the level of interaction, the breadth of the matters in that direction fall behind the level of the UnionState for now. According to Dmitry Medvedev, the Union State is a reference point that the other countries integrated into the Eurasian Economic Union should pay attention to. He remarked that there are no extremely complicated issues in the bilateral relations at present. “We have dealt with all the major issues. Those that emerge periodically represent an absolutely normal situation. It seems to me that now we have to step up trade interaction,” said Dmitry Medvedev. He added that additional opportunities for the presence of Belarusian partners on the Russian market, including food supplies, are opening up.