FM Makey on integration with Russia: I do not see any danger for Belarus

Belarus Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey believes that the deepening of economic integration with Russia does not pose a threat to Belarus, but considers it inexpedient to publish the draft integration program now. He said that in an interview with five independent media outlets – TUT.BY, BelaPAN, Radiyo Svaboda, Euroradio and Nasha Niva.

Makey notes that the integration plans have no political component and concern only the economy.

“I do not see any danger for Belarus, as it has been stated many times: one should not be afraid that someone will surrender sovereignty or sell it, it is impossible,” he said.

The minister confessed that at the beginning of negotiations with Moscow, “the middle level representatives of the Russian ministries made specific proposals which were absolutely unacceptable for the Belarusian side,” but the leaders of Belarus and Russia rejected them. The proposals related to the creation of some supranational structures, which was associated with the political component of deeper integration.

Meanwhile, Makey does not rule out that some new bodies will be created within the framework of the economic integration program.

“Many issues can be considered at the ministerial panels that exist today. Perhaps, some new bodies can be created, but there are currently many institutional mechanisms that allow normal interaction between Belarus and Russia,” he said.

Makey stated that it makes no sense to publish the text of the deeper integration draft text yet. The minister also expressed doubt that the public is very worried about the documents on the integration of Belarus and Russia that will be adopted in the near future.

“I also meet with people and see: the main thing they care about is to have a job, a good salary and so on. Certain circles in Belarus, of course, are concerned about this issue. But I would like to emphasize once again that it is not advisable to publish any draft documents or developments now. Let’s wait until the beginning of December, when the meeting will be held (between Lukashenka and Putin – and specific decisions on all issues will be taken,” he said.

“I emphasize once again that everything that is being done is being done in accordance with the national interests of our country. And I do not understand how the first president of the country who created this independent state could sell this independence. It is absolutely impossible. Who would he go down in history as then? Besides, it is impossible, because, as the President said, our society is very different than it was 20-30 years ago, when this independence just fell on us. A new generation was born which does not see itself in another state, they see themselves in a sovereign Belarus. I see it on the example of my 10-year-old son who knows that there is an independent Belarus, where he studies and plans to live,” said the minister.