Updated at 14:48,20-09-2021

Lukashenko: Belarus, Russia are yet to align one Union State program out of 28

Lukashenko: Belarus, Russia are yet to align one Union State program out of 28
Belarus and Russia are yet to align one Union State program, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the Big Conversation with the President, a meeting with the public, experts and media community in the format of a big press conference in Minsk on 9 August, BelTA has learned.

According to the head of state, the so-called integration roadmaps were reformatted into the Union State programs. There are a total of 28 of them.

"If we are the union, if we see a future, we need to equalize prices. Or, let's do it on market terms. Let's say we need gas. So we buy it from Gazprom. Gazprom does not have it? We will go to another company - you have a lot of them that produce natural gas. There should be free trade in this commodity. Then the prices will be appropriate. We do not ask for low prices. We want equal prices," the Belarusian leader stressed.

He recalled that the common economic space that Belarus and Russia are building implies equal conditions for all business entities, enterprises and people. "We agree to market conditions, but the conditions should be equal. We agreed with the Russian president that we will overcome all barriers and equalize these conditions," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

"I would like to hope that the Supreme State Council of the Union State will convene for a meeting this year, at the end of it, as we agreed with the president [Putin]. The meeting should be a milestone as we are set to make very serious decisions. I think that if Russia does not commit to take some steps with regard to gas prices, to level the playing field, we will still adopt these 28 Union State programs, the roadmaps have been thoroughly revised. It will be a colossal step," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Answering the question about the horizons of strategic planning, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that there are corresponding plans in economy and in the military-political sphere. "Let's take the military-political sphere for example. We have planned everything very far ahead, and I do not even see these horizons in terms of creating a joint Belarusian-Russian army, let's call it that," he said.

He gave an example: in the event of aggression against the Union State, the Belarusian army is the first to enter a war, and then it will be immediately reinforced with certain units. Here we have an example of the military-political planning, and these plans cover a very distant future. We will work out certain things during Zapad 2021. This is also not a secret," the head of state added.

As for the economy, Belarus insists on most comprehensive cooperation, in particular in the field of aircraft maintenance. "For example, recently you have unveiled MC-21 [a new passenger aircraft],” the head of state said. “For huge Russia, this is a promising aircraft, which means a lot of work: maintenance, spare parts, etc. Many of its component parts are of a foreign make and we can replace some of them with domestically made spare parts," he said.

At the same time, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that cooperation should be built on mutually beneficial and respectful terms. "Unlike the terms when we were offered to incorporate into KAMAZ. No, we're not going to do that. Everything should be fair. Meanwhile you behave as if you are negotiating with Germany or the United States ," the head of state said, adding that Belarus has preserved both science and manufacturing industry. So the country can be useful to Russia in many areas.