ST. PETERSBURG, June 7. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected the possibility of the Russia-Belarus integration by the end of his presidency in 2024.
"No, this inconceivable," Putin said at a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2019), replying to the question.
As Putin pointed out, Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians are one people from the very outset but they have acquired their own identity with time.
"We take this with understanding and respect. It has so turned out that we are living in different countries… Today, there are no grounds for the states’ unification. We have no such plans and goals," the Russian president said.
Russia and Belarus have cooperation plans, Putin said. "We have a plan of building the so-called Union State. I am convinced that our people are interested in that. Much has been done in this area," the Russian leader stressed.
Much of what was stipulated in the treaty on creating the Union State has not yet been fulfilled, Putin noted. "We discussed with Alexander Grigoryevich [Lukashenko] whether we can achieve something from what has not been done or add something that is essential, under the present-day conditions," the Russian president said.