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Belarusian president says union with Russia still holds promise

April 24, 14:10 UTC+3 MINSK

Belarus is "sick and tired of issues over the access of our goods to the Russian market"

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

© Vadim DenisovTASS

MINSK, April 24. /TASS/. Developing the Union State of Belarus and Russia remains relevant, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in an address to the nation and parliament on Tuesday.

"Our union project with Russia still remains pertinent. Given the extremely difficult global situation, the importance of our partnership has skyrocketed," the Belarussian leader pointed out.

However, in Lukashenko’s words, "the integration capacity of our cooperation is not always employed fully and effectively."

"We are sick and tired of issues over the access of our goods to the Russian market. We have been talking about a common market for 20 years but these issues continue to crop up in various areas, be it over food products or energy resources," the Belarusian president said, noting that "migration and border control issues have recently been added."

Russia’s agricultural watchdog, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, has repeatedly banned the import of food products from Belarusian companies over re-exports - that is goods from countries subject to Russia’s food embargo that had been supplied to the country disguised as Belarusian exports. Besides, the watchdog also introduced temporarily restrictions on the import of several kinds of Belarusian milk and dairy products citing their "unsafety."

Belarus pledged to take measures to prevent the re-export of banned agricultural products to Russia.

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