Moscow has started to revise its treaty from 1999 which established the Union State with Belarus. The work is being done as part of the bilateral integration work group, said Russian Ambassador to Belarus Mikhail Babich on 23 January, as reported by Interfax.
“The Russian part of the group has started working. They are currently making an inventory of all the terms of the union treaty according to the blocks: economic, social, on the state governance organs, on matters of security and military technological collaboration. All the aspects of the treaty that were laid down in 1999 are being considered by the relevant government organs,” the diplomat said.
According to Babich, “a concern in this work is that five years ago we signed the Eurasian treaty,” and some of the terms of the Union government treaty have already been taken out and transferred to the Eurasian level. “That’s why it’s important here not to double the powers which have been transferred to the Eurasian organs, but to keep in the context of the Union treaty all the legal relations which need to be in the bilateral format,” the Russian ambassador emphasized, noting that when this job is completed, Moscow will forward its suggestions to Minsk and ask for its counter suggestions. “As soon as the suggestions are consolidated, the Russian party will advise the Belarusian partners to look at them and make their own comments and suggestion. We think that the Belarusian party will do the same thing,” Babich said.
After the suggestions have been harmonized, the work group will forward them to the presidents of both countries for consideration. “Then we will hold a joint work group session, where we will focus on allocating tasks in order to find all the resolutions in the project for the presidents’ reports,” he stressed.
Mikhail Babich also confirmed the plans to expand the countries’ collaboration in the area of military technology. “Military technology and military collaboration are being actively developed by us. The goals that Russia and Belarus have set themselves in terms of ensuring military security are definitely being met,” the diplomat said, recalling that “a large number of bilateral exercises take place in the context of the regional troop formations, and in 2019 there are plans to hold large-scale joint exercises in Russia”.
The ambassador also added that there are currently major projects in the sphere of collaboration in military technology. “In particular, we recently visited the Peleng company’s wheeled truck factory in Minsk. Joint projects are also being successfully implemented with these companies… We once again compared notes and took a look at prospective collaboration programs. We will continue this cooperation,” the diplomat emphasized.
At the end of December 2018, Belarusian and Russian presidents Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin agreed to establish a work group for integration and the resolution of disputes in bilateral relations. The agreement resulted from tense negotiations in which Minsk demanded compensation for loss of revenue caused by a Russian tax maneuver in the oil sphere. Russia said that it will only continue to subsidize the Belarusian economy if the countries continue the process of integration as laid out in the 1999 Union treaty.