The integration between Minsk and Moscow poses no threat to the sovereignty of Belarus, the country’s Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said in an interview with RBC.
"There are, indeed, numerous conspiracy allegations surrounding the program of deep integration between Belarus and Russia," he said. "I would like to point out that from our standpoint, the program in itself poses no danger. Why? First, we strongly believe that maintaining the sovereignty of our countries is a top priority, in this particular case, the matter is about the sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus," Makei is quoted as saying by TASS.
According to him, nowadays, it is hardly possible to establish a federation or a confederation because the society has changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. "Generations have grown up in an independent state and no one is ready to sacrifice it. Besides, I don’t get how the country’s first president, who founded an independent state, could sacrifice independence," Makei said.
The Belarusian top diplomat pointed out that the program was based on the 1999 Treaty on the Creation of a Union State of Russia and Belarus. "There are no deviations from the Treaty. Indeed, frankly speaking, some of the initial initiatives were absolutely unacceptable, particularly for Belarus," Makei noted. "For instance, it concerned the creation of some supranational bodies, which in fact runs counter to the Treaty," he added.
In December 2018, Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus decided to set up an intergovernmental working group to boost integration. Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin and his Belarusian counterpart Dmitry Krutoi head the group. On September 6, the Russian and Belarusian prime ministers initialed an action plan for integration development. A final package of documents on the future of integration is expected to be presented to the two countries’ presidents by December.
December 8 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Russian-Belarusian Treaty on the Creation of a Union State.