Mikhail Mishustin and Roman Golovchenko made statements for the press following the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Union State.
From the transcript:
Mikhail Mishustin: Colleagues and journalists,
First, I would like to thank Mr Golovchenko and our Belarusian partners for the warm reception and excellent organisation of today’s event.
The meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Union State has just ended. The main result is that the council has approved the plan to increase integration through the 28 union programmes. All of them have been endorsed. These programmes clearly determine our cooperation in most areas of joint activity. They include industry, energy, finances and the agro-industrial sector. The programmes provide for a harmonisation in our approaches to macroeconomics, tax and customs regulations and the monetary policy in general. They concern the transport market, product marking, payment systems, veterinary and phytosanitary control, protection of consumer rights and unification of the laws in the social and labour sphere.
Following the instructions of our presidents – Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko – we adopted a joint statement by the prime ministers of Russia and Belarus. In this statement, we described the main goals for the Union State’s development. This statement has been published for everyone to learn more about the details. We hope the Supreme State Council of the Union State will endorse the decisions approved today.
We have a common goal – to achieve economic growth and increase the living standards of our people while preserving the sovereignty of our countries, regardless of the growing difficulties in the external environment. Everyone will benefit from the further integration of the Union State. Entrepreneurs will receive new opportunities for doing business and better conditions for launching promising projects in industry, transport, energy and many other areas.
Naturally, deeper integration will improve the wellbeing of the people in the Union State. We are creating equal opportunities for work, social support and access to education. It is no less important to enable people to travel comfortably inside the Union State. Considering the epidemiological situation, we made a decision (the President of Russia spoke about it yesterday) to resume air traffic between Russia and Belarus on a full scale. Soon our people will be able to fly without restrictions to Russian and Belarusian airports that are open to international flights.
The current meeting took place in a sincere and constructive atmosphere, thereby confirming our common desire to promote integration. I am confident that we will carry out all the plans we have made in full – and they are very ambitious. Both Russia and its Belarusian partners are ready for active joint efforts. Together, we will find the best solutions to the most complicated issues proceeding from mutual benefit and the fraternal character of our long-standing relations. This will allow us to fully reveal the creative potential of the Treaty on the Creation of the Union State.
Mr Golovchenko, please, the floor is yours.
Roman Golovchenko: Esteemed journalists,
My colleague, the Prime Minister of the Russian Government, has outlined very clearly and succinctly the results of the activities of the Belarusian and Russian governments over more than two years aimed at building a Union State, creating a unique and viable integration model of a powerful potential. While ensuring the unconditional preservation of the sovereignty of Belarus and Russia, this model creates the necessary conditions for dynamic economic development, increases our common competitiveness and allows us to coordinate and focus our efforts on upholding historical and moral values that are common to our fraternal nations.
As my colleague has said, the key goal of integration is to increase the living standards of our people by promoting the stable economic development of Belarus and Russia. The economy is the decisive factor for the effective development of all other areas of bilateral cooperation, and we have already achieved much in this regard.
The successful operation of 2,400 joint ventures has been ensured by the harmonious complementarity of our economies. Belarus occupies leading positions in supplying the Russian market with agricultural and food products, high technology machines and equipment. The Russian Federation accounts for about half of all our domestic trade. In turn, supplies from our strategic ally provide considerable amounts of raw materials and component parts for the export of our joint products to third countries.
In general, this is a reliable guarantee of the steady functioning of the national economic sector in conditions of external turbulence. This complementarity and our substantial trade – $18 billion in the first half of this year – dictates the need to synchronise our sectoral economic strategies, remove administrative barriers and create comfortable and understandable conditions for businesses in both countries.
Today, we have taken yet another very important step towards creating the foundations for a functional common economic space from Minsk to Vladivostok by 2024. We have approved the main guidelines for implementing the provisions of the Treaty on the Creation of the Union State in 2021-2023 and the 28 union programmes. Much has already been said today about these programmes that will be submitted for endorsement by the Supreme State Council.
We believe the implementation of these programmes will become a powerful impetus for increasing trade, developing joint ventures and taking coordinated measures to support national manufacturers.