Belarus might take main step in direction of integration with Russia, Lukashenko claims

Moscow and Minsk might determine to be sure by a single forex in an effort to spice up commerce and strengthen ties between the 2 members of the so-called Union State, Belarus’ embattled chief, Alexander Lukashenko, has stated.

Speaking concerning the prospects of financial integration in an interview with RIA Novosti printed on Wednesday, Lukashenko stated, “There’s the Russian ruble… Everyone wants a single currency.”

According to him, a previous settlement with former Russian president Boris Yeltsin stated that if the 2 international locations shared a forex, “it wouldn’t be the Belarusian ruble or the Russian ruble, but a different, third currency. But seeing as we have the ruble, and you have the ruble, why make something up and call it [something else] or what-have-you? Yes, it will be the ruble.”

“We’ll have to get to the currency step-by-step,” he added.

In 1999, Lukashenko signed an settlement with Moscow creating the Union State of Russia and Belarus and outlining a significant plan for integration of the 2 nations. The settlement described the institution of a joint parliament, cupboard, courts, and different shared establishments, which might have successfully made the 2 international locations a unified state. However, the method has stalled in recent times regardless of fixed talks.

Nonetheless, Belarus and Russia have remained shut companions, with agreements on visa-free travel and financial partnership. In November, Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into drive a variety of measures designed to deepen ties between their nations, together with a revised Union State navy doctrine and a plan for a single fuel market and customary monetary zone.

Merging the 2 international locations right into a single state, nonetheless, “isn’t on the agenda at all,” Lukashenko instructed CNN in October.

However, requested on Wednesday whether or not he noticed any limits to integration, Lukashenko answered, “There are no sorts of limits to any process. It sounds philosophical, but it’s true. No limits whatsoever.”