The Belarusian president is supporting the idea of creating the Eurasian Economic Union and wants to actively join the efforts of forming it – according to an article by Aleksander Lukashenka, published in Russian daily „Izviestia“ on Monday in response to article written by Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Putin announced in his text a plan to transform existing Customs Union and Common Economic Space into Eurasian Union of Russian, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
„It is more than just a compliment addressed to a colleague of mine, a former Russian president and its current prime minister, this publication is a serious event. Russia, for the first time clearly and unequivocally stated that her priority are relations with other post-Soviet countries.“ – wrote Lukashenka
„What is more – this is the first time in the modern Russian history, when a future presidential candidate has mentioned it in his foreign policy program“ – stressed the Belarusian president. – „There is a strategy behind the words of the article. A right strategy. And only fools can accuse the author and the article of being pre-electoral opportunism.“
In his article Lukashenka attacked Belarusian opposition for their skepticism towards integration with Russia. „It is not even worth mentioning the typical russophobic screams of the „fifth column“. They are not concerned with the country“ – wrote the president.
He also addressed concerns about the costs of further integration: „To be honest, creation of the Common Economic Space (CES) was not an easy compromise for us. And to be more straightforward: Belarus had to pay dearly for the CES. However, there is a reason to believe that the risk was worth it.“
„When we reach the highest level of economic integration, we will come across a need to build socio-political structure – with common values, legal system, life standard. We will not manage without creating some super-national bodies based on a consensus, also a political consensus.“ Lukashenka wrote that common currency is a possibility.
The new union, according to Lukashenka, does not have to divide Europe, but rather be a part of the general European integration and will constitute an important partner for the EU. „Much depends on the Europeans themselves – how ready are there to work on an equal footing“.