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There has not been and cannot be any talk of Russia or Belarus giving up their sovereignty, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the meeting to discuss Belarus-Russia Union State integration programs on 12 January, BelTA has learned.
“I warn you that there has been no talk of Russia or Belarus giving up their sovereignty, and there can't be such talk. There is simply no need [for that]. The existing format of cooperation with Russia has not been exhausted yet,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
According to the president, if the two countries see at some point in the future that additional decisions are needed to promote integration and facilitate economic convergence, the relevant issues will be discussed.
According to the head of state, this matter is the main reason why he invited so many officials for the meeting. “Do not think that some issues are being dealt with behind your back, and you are not aware of this. No, this process is open and fair. Moreover, time is pushing us towards such an approach to addressing these problems,” the president said.
The head of state emphasized that it was not just a decision of the presidents of the two countries to pass the 28 Union State programs. The adoption of the programs was preceded by a long period of preparatory work. “Putin and I did not make any decisions off the cuff. We did not. The officials in charge had met and discussed these programs at the Supreme State Council. We approved these programs. Yet, the situation was heated up when we were adopting these programs,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He recalled that at one time there were various proposals as to what to include in the integration package, up to the proposal to create a parliament and other things. However, in the end, Belarus and Russia agreed on those 28 programs that are currently being implemented, and everything else was rejected. It was decided that if the two countries were not yet ready to address some issues, they should be left aside for the time being. “We will make decisions on them if needed. That was what was said. And we have always insisted that first things first. It was of fundamental importance. And these 28 programs remained. They deal with social and economic matters, as well as security issues. The time has changed that those security programs that we approved more than a year ago are no longer relevant . We have already moved very far in our bilateral relations when it comes to security matters,” the president said.
“In other words, life pushed us for closer integration. This is how we should act. We should act according to the situation. Otherwise, we will ruin everything,” the Belarusian leader added.
Written by belta.by