ZASLAVL, Belarus, July 18 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said after meeting his Belarusian counterpart Mikhail Myasnikovich on Wednesday that Russia would defend its sovereign economic interests and create normal condition for work with its closest partners in the Union State and the Customs Union after it has joined the WTO.
“Each country should think of its national interests even if it has close and friendly relations with another country. As for the dilemma of a choice between the WTO and the Customs Union, for example, there’s no contradiction here,” Medvedev explained.
He said that when Russia was joining the WTO, its stance was aimed at defending its own economic interests and the interests of its closest partners, including Belarus in the first place.
“Russia’s opportunities in conditions of the WTO membership will enable it to protect our markets. I believe that both Belarus and Kazakhstan will join this organization in future,” the Russian prime minister said.
Dmitry Medvedev started his visit to Belarus with meeting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. After that he had talks with his Belarusian counterpart Mikhail Myasnikovich. The talks were held in a narrow format at the Zaslavl government residence in the outskirts of Minsk. The Belarusian prime minister congratulated Medvedev on his appointment to the post of chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.
Myasnikovich said that trade between the two countries was growing.
“I think it’s going to be complete with investment and innovation projects that will develop the agreements that were reached in St. Petersburg on June 15,” Myasnikovich went on to say, adding that Minsk had prepared a number of new proposals.
For his part, Medvedev promised to exert every effort to make the Union State prosperous in his new capacity.
Later on, Medvedev opened a meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.
Medvedev hopes that Russian-Belarusian joint ventures will be established in the automobile industry and machine-building.
“I believe that other joint projects will be implemented in the machine-building industry, car manufacturing and other areas,” Medvedev said.
“If we manage to progress in this sphere, that will mean that the degree of our integration has qualitatively increased and won’t depend on international factors,” the Russian prime minister stressed.
He believes that negotiations on setting up a MAZ-KAMAZ joint venture have entered an advanced stage. Russia and Belarus have managed to agree on many issues, but some still need to be clarified. “On the whole, it’s necessary to take account of the interests of several states and companies,” Medvedev went on to say.
KAMAZ is a Russian company in which the German concern Daimler holds a stake.