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Russia, Belarus to discuss social protection issues

March 20, 2012, 15:33 UTC+3

The Union State has become an experience platform to work on integration ideas not only in the economy, said Zdanovich

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PETROZAVODSK, March 20 (Itar-Tass) — Social protection of citizens will be on the agenda of a meeting in Petrozavodsk of a permanent seminar supervised by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia on establishment of the Union State.

“The Union State has become an experience platform to work on integration ideas not only in the economy, but also in the social sphere, and in the social protection of citizens, too,” a member of the Council on social politics, science, culture and humanitarian issues Vladimir Zdanovich said on Tuesday. Russia and Belarus have from 2006 the Agreement on cooperation in social protection, which regulates calculation and payment of pensions and social benefits.

“For over ten years already we have been implementing the joint programme on organisation of treatment of children from the regions which suffered most from the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, of resort treatment for veterans and invalids of World War II from Tula, Kaluga, Bryansk and Smolensk regions,” the deputy said.

Still there are many outstanding problems with providing of social rights for labour, education, medical services and insurance, for pension services in territories of Russia and Belarus, he continued.

“We believe it an abnormal the situation where in Russia’s universities study about 20,000 students from Belarus, and in Belarusian universities – only about 2,000 Russian students,” Zdanovich said.

A member of the commission of the Parliamentary Assembly and Chairman of the Veteran’s Council of Belarus Anatoly Novikov said “the integration policy of the Union State is not only plants and banks, not only transportation of cargo, but the main aspect is people.”

“The Concept of the Union State’s social development to 2015 is a basis for further unifying of national legislations of Russia and Belarus in formation of market and salaries, in raising living standards,” the deputy said.

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