In his New Year’s greeting to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that the union between the two nations has been successful, the press service of the Belarusian leader reported.
Lukashenko noted that in the upcoming year, the two countries will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of signing the agreement on establishing the State Union. According to him, Belarus and Russia have had an uneasy path “but we can now say with confidence that the union between the two peoples has been successful”.
In addition, Lukashenko expressed his conviction that hard work on observing the national interests of the two countries in the framework of the Union State, based on deep trust and respect, will give a serious impetus to developing the whole range of bilateral relations.
The Belarusian leader believes that “the will of Belarusians and Russians towards unity” will serve as a solid foundation for “integration, multi-faced cooperation and formation of new common history”.
In his turn, Putin congratulated Lukashenko and said that further strengthening of relations between the two countries “fully meets the interests of the brotherly peoples”.
On December 28, Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on the creation of a working group that will discuss the integration of the two states. As explained by the Kremlin, the parties “are moving towards each other” but the possible incorporation of Belarus into Russia is out of question.
Last week, Lukashenko twice held talks on Moscow’s tax maneuver with Putin. The parties discussed the ways “to implement the 1999 treaty” (on the establishment of the State Union). At the same time, before the meetings, the president of Belarus suggested not to call Russia a brotherly state because Moscow “does not perceive it correctly”. “There are new people who do not accept this concept. Well, let us be partners.”