Russia and Belarus to unify economies

Russia and Belarus have agreed to establish a unified Tax Code and Civil Code within the Union State format, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reports.

The program of economic integration between Russia and Belarus was signed at the beginning of September, but was not publicized until now. The program envisages the partial unification of the two countries’ economic systems starting in January 2021.

This will involve a unified Tax Code, foreign trade regime and Civil Code, a unified record of property and similar social benefits, a nearly unified banking regulator, but with two central banks, a single regulator for the oil, gas and electricity markets, and a harmonized state regulation sector.

“The most important thing that is expected to be unified is the tax system: Within the Union State, Russia and Belarus are expected to adopt a unified Tax Code by April 1, 2021,” the newspaper notes.

Despite the fact that the document does not contain specific agreements on a unified budget or currency, the countries intend to partially unify their payment systems. The states also intend to introduce unified access to state procurements and a unified property record system.

In July, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko signed amendments to the Labor Code which envisage a contractual system of employment that gives employers virtually unlimited opportunities to fire their employees.

Employees now lack the right to resign voluntarily. Furthermore, employers are allowed to temporarily transfer their staff to other jobs for up to six months or to other employers.

  Russia, Belarus