Russia says Moscow and Minsk now 90% in agreement on integrating two states

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MOSCOW – Russian and Belarusian approaches to integration issues currently coincide at 90%, the discussion will continue at Prime Minister level next week in Minsk, said Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin. This means there’s an increasing level of agreement between the two states.

This June 15 in Moscow Oreshkin held a meeting of the working group of Russia and Belarus to solve the problems related to integration, the Belarusian side was represented by his peer, Dmitri Krutoi.

“If you remember, three weeks ago, when the Belarusian prime minister arrived, in his initial comments in discussions with Dmitri [Medvedev], he called that figure 70%, I think we can now say we have 90,” Oreshkin said after the meeting, which lasted approximately 4 hours.

The head of the Belarusian Cabinet, Sergey Rumas, when he met with his Russian counterpart Medvedev in May, mentioned the figure of 70% of equal positions.

The treaty on the founding of the Union of Russia and Belarus was signed in 1997, subsequently signed several agreements on greater political, economic, social and military integration.

Minsk and Moscow have a joint defense system, in which the Belarussian Army is the main link in the western theater of operations.

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Meanwhile, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, questioned that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, intends to “absorb” his country.

“On the part of the president of Russia, at least, there have been no feints, I have never heard that it is necessary to incorporate Belarus, to include it in Russia, I would have noticed that attitude,” Lukashenko said when he met on March 1 with representatives of various NGOs and media.

The president added that this “big country has no intention of absorbing Belarus.”

Lukashenko also noted that Belarusians aspire to be with Russia, but “without cohabitation.”

Belarus and Russia signed the Treaty of the State of the Union in 1999, which came into force the following year, after being ratified by their respective parliaments.

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