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Russia, Belarus premiers to chair Union State Council of Ministers’ meeting

December 13, 2013, 2:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 13, 1:03 /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian and Belarussian prime ministers, Dmitry Medvedev and Mikhail Myasnikovich, will chair on Friday a session of the Russia-Belarus Union State Council of Ministers, which will have 28 issues on the agenda covering the whole range of bilateral integration cooperation and the Union State’s development.

The prime ministers will sum up the results of trade-economic cooperation between the two countries in the first half of this year. Russia is the biggest supplier of goods to the Belarussian market, accounting for 47 percent of Belarusian foreign trade. In January-June, Belarus was number one in Russia’s foreign trade with countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (28.9 percent), and was placed eighth among Russia’s main trade partners.

Budget issues will be top on the agenda. “First of all, they will consider a draft budget of the Union State for 2014 and will discuss priority guidelines and high-priority tasks of its development in the medium term (2013-2017),” the government said. “There will be an exchange of views on Belarus-Russia co-operation in trade, economic, energy, scientific and technical, social and military spheres alongside in the field of education, culture and art.”

The sides also plan to approve the projected balance between demand and supply on major kinds of products of the Union State, as well as balances of supplies of fuel and energy resources for 2014.

Much attention will be paid to defence and security cooperation. The sides will sum up the results of the implementation of the union program for fight against crime on the territories of the two states for 2008-2012, and will consider a draft plan of joint events to ensure the functioning of the Russia-Belarus regional group of forces in 2014. There are also plans to work out a common approach to topical problems of world politics for the next two years.

The sides are also expected to approve the draft program of joint activity in overcoming the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster until 2016, as well as will touch upon the development of a common market of communication services in the Union State and prospects for its development. Bilateral humanitarian cooperation is also on the agenda.

There are plans to sign a number of bilateral agreements, including an intergovernmental agreement on co-operation in the use and development of the Earth and the Global Navigation Satellite System GLONASS, on the early notification of nuclear accidents and information sharing on nuclear and radiation safety, as well as on co-operation in the field of aerospace rescue and recovery.

The two sides are also due to sign a protocol on the extension of the December, 9 2010 agreement on the payment and transfer of export customs duties on oil and certain categories of products made from it when exported from the territory of Belarus outside the Customs Union.

The Union State of Russia and Belarus is a supranational entity formed in 1999 as a unique attempt at political and economic integration among the former Soviet republics.

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