Together with the analyst of the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies Aleksey Avdonin analyzed in the effects of integration for the two countries, we also debunk myths and horror stories about “selling Belarusian sovereignty” and “joining Belarus to Russia.”
To begin with, a small expert explanation of why the questions of the so-called roadmaps were stuck in the past:
– The fact is that for some time the interests of various corporate groups came to the fore, but today the issues of importance are in the foreground. This is a sound government policy that assumes uniform conditions and rules for all participants.
It should be reminded that the approaches to deep integration have been implemented for almost three years, as they were called at the very beginning of the state they had been running for two years. During this time, the documents have been transformed from maps into full-fledged programs that allow Belarus not only to build up joint trade and economic potential, but also, as they say, to strengthen collective sovereignty.
Adoption of union programs makes the economies of Belarus and Russia practically invulnerable
Let’s look at the numbers: according to Belstat, the trade turnover between Belarus and Russia in the first half of the year increased by 34.9 percent (compared to January – June 2020) and exceeded $ 17.8 billion, with Belarusian exports to Russia increased by 21.1 percent … It seems that the pandemic, sanctions pressure and external challenges have once again confirmed that we are the closest and reliable partners of each other. And the economy confirms this.
The implementation of joint integration programs makes it possible to obtain (although, perhaps not immediately) an effect: by increasing the efficiency of macroeconomic indicators, increasing mutual trade and achieving more active advantages of joint ventures, competitiveness of products and new jobs, and an increase in the well-being of people.
At the same time, says Alexei Avdonin, it is important to understand that the collective West is against the integration of Belarus and Russia, especially after the events of 2020, with an informational information attack, just actively pushing the topic of “surrender of sovereignty and independence”:
– But integration within the Union State is, first of all, new economic opportunities for the two countries: starting with a single market for goods and services, ensuring the creation of joint scientific clusters focused on the production of competitive products with high added value.
According to the expert, work in the Union State will evaluate and use the preliminary format of interaction in the post-Soviet space. And close integration can be built on a properly prepared economic foundation, which, by the way, our countries have strong and reliable. The main thing is to understand that both citizens and business entities in the Union State should feel in equal conditions: from access to finance, tenders, education and to retail chains and shelf space.
Over the past year, Belarus and Russia have faced colossal external pressure
We must not forget that over the past year Belarus and Russia have faced colossal external pressure. True, economic sanctions, attempts to destabilize the situation inside our countries, calls for strikes – all this, on the contrary, helped to mobilize and see who is who. Recently, in an interview with “Eurasia. Expert”, the chairman of the international affairs committee of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Andrei Savinykh very clearly commented on the importance of the union of programs for the economies of the two countries:
– The adoption of the union programs will make the economies of Belarus and Russia invulnerable to any external economic pressure. We can resist any hostile action from the outside.
In turn, Alexey Avdonin draws attention to the fact that now all countries are entering a tough confrontation. Those states that oppose the collective West understand that it is almost impossible to cope alone:
– Therefore, the integration processes in the Eurasian space are intensifying. They will be joined by other countries of the region (China, India) interested in stability and a common market.
Alexey Avdonin: Both citizens and business entities should feel themselves in equal conditions. Photo: Alexander Kushner
BY THE WAY
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, the volume of trade in 2020 amounted to $ 29.5 billion. Belarus’ exports to Russia amounted to $ 13.1 billion. Russia continues to be the main trade partner of Belarus: last year it accounted for 47.9 percent of the value of foreign trade in goods, 45.2 percent – exports.
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