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MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. Russia and Belarus have come close to creating common innovational space, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
"Industrial cooperation between our countries is becoming deeper and more structural, we have come close to creating common innovational space," Putin stressed.
Putin recalled the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (NPP) as an example of such cooperation. "The implementation of our largest investment project is proceeding according to schedule. Specialists consider the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant exemplary," the Russian leader noted.
The cost of construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant is $10 billion and Russian loans make 90% of this ammount, Putin added.
Putin said that the NPP construction is going on schedule. The NPP’s first power unit is planned to be launched in 2018.
Over the last 15 years, the Union State of Russian and Belarus "has proved its relevance and viability," Putin said. The experience of Russian-Belarusian cooperation was used in creating other integration unions on the territory of the former USSR, particularly when forming the Eurasian Economic Union. "I am confident that the Union State will continue playing an important role, including as a means of testing promising integration mechanisms and models," Putin said.
"The absolute priority is developing economic ties," he stressed. Despite slight decrease in trade turnover between the two countries ($37.6 billion in 2014), "we managed to take concrete steps to counter this unfavorable tendency," Putin said. "We have prepared a package of joint measures on easing mutual access to goods and services markets for Russian and Belarusian producers," he added.
"Common migration space has already been created on the territory of Russia and Ukraine," Putin noted. " Our citizens travel freely by domestic passports without passing customs or border control," Putin said.
After today session, "additional steps will be made to ease migration formalities," the Russian leader said.