17 January 2018, Wednesday, 4:16

Lukashenka doesn't demand concessions in Eurasian integration process


“We have prepared for the signing of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty,” the dictator said.

Being an equal participant of the Eurasian integration process along with Russia and Kazakhstan, Belarus does not demand any concessions, BelTA cites Lukashenka as saying at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Astana on May 29.

“We have been working on the Eurasian integration project for several years and the work was not easy. However, we have always kept in mind our major goal – to cement peace and accord between our nations, to make sure that the development of our countries is based on a solid foundation of mutually beneficial cooperation,” the Belarusian ruler said.

Life showed that the right path had been chosen, according to Lukashenka. The CIS was formed not to allow irreversible disintegration on the post-Soviet space. It was followed by the Eurasian Economic Community, the Customs Union and the future Single Economic Space.

“Our integration efforts will culminate in the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union. Our country has always held a consistent position on integration. The Belarus-Russia Union State remains the core and locomotive of integration in the CIS. Having been the “assembly shop” of the Soviet Union, we were interested, like no one else, in restoring economic contacts on the post-Soviet space. We were willing to respect everyone's interests without destroying the regional system of the division of labor. More than that, we sought to set up a system where we would not compete, but complement each other. However, the fulfillment of this benevolent goal turned out to be a very complicated and lengthy process,” the ruler said.

“How many opponents emerged both in the West and in the so-called "near abroad"? And not even overseas, but in our countries as well! And not only among the opposition (it is their job to criticize), but also among some government officials (especially liberals). We heard all kinds of complaints! They claimed that integration is about the revival of the Soviet empire and the loss of sovereignty. They compared integration to a “kettlebell tied to the legs of Russia” (if they spoke about Belarus) or Kazakhstan.”

“However, most of the criticism went to Belarus. Even now mass media are raising hue and cry claiming that “Lukashenko demands concessions!”, “Bonuses for Minsk are bargained”, “Russia or Kazakhstan will assume the burden of Belarus' economic issues!” I would like to tell these ladies and gentlemen to calm down. Belarus, alongside with Russia and Kazakhstan, is part of a mutual and equitable process. If we share some burden with each other, this will be a mutual process. We are allies in this union,” he emphasised.

Lukashenka recalled that the Soviet Union had collapsed when the union republics decided that they “provide for” others and could have lived better on their own. “Now they bring back this tested bugaboo,” he noted.

“Belarus does not demand any concessions. Each will contribute something that will benefit all. And this contribution should not be measured only by tonnes, cubic meters and barrels,” the ruler said.

“We have prepared for the signing of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty. We have tried our best to promote our interests; we respect the position of our partners; we have carefully analyzed the documents and have acknowledged its strong points. However, I cannot but say that I am not 100% happy with our agreements. There is still room for improvement and the improvements will benefit all the signatories to the treaty.”

Lukashenka underscored that Belarus was a sincire and reliable partner and expressed a hope for mutual understanding and a constructive approach to addressing all issues.

Photo: kremlin.by