The Belarusian authorities are not going to make public the Belarus-Russia integration program which was signed by the two countries’ prime ministers in early September. This follows from Economy Minister Dzmitry Krutoy’s letter of response to opposition MP Alena Anisim.
According to the minister, the program still has the status of a working document, since the leaders of Belarus and Russia are expected to approve it in December, along with a package of road maps which will include the details of the economic agreements.
The publication of the draft program without the additional package is contrary to the world practice of setting up the negotiations, Dzmitry Krutoy believes. In his opinion, unveiling could pave the way for manipulations of information and the development of wrongheaded views of the would-be integration. The top official states that the documents concerned do not threaten the sovereignty and independence of Belarus.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry is set to establish a commission which will start working on drafting a single Tax Code of Belarus and Russia.
As reported earlier, over 10,000 people have signed the petition for denouncing the Union State Treaty, which was placed on the change.org platform by the civil campaign ‘Forward, Belarus!’. According to the activists, the treaty of alliance on 8 December 1999 ‘leads to a loss of sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Belarus’.
On September 16, the Russian newspaper Kommersant presented some details of the project of the further integration of Belarus and Russia, which was reportedly agreed by the prime ministers of the two states on September, 6. The integration may be ‘deeper’ than that in the European Union, the article reads.
If the information is anything to go by, the document provides for the partial economic integration at the same level as the EU member states have; in some fields, the integration will be similar to that of a confederation or even federation.
On the same day, president Lukashenka’s press secretary Natallya Eysmant told the Belarusian newspaper Nasha Niva that the terms ‘confederation’ and ‘federation’ used in the article were nothing but ‘journalistic cliches’. The independence and sovereignty of Belarus and Russia are ‘sacred’, she added.
By 8 December 2019, the authorities of Belarus and Russia are expected to sign a new agreement on deepening integration.