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Moscow ready for further steps in building Union State with Belarus, says Medvedev

The move may involve setting up a common money issuance center

BREST, December 13. /TASS/. Moscow is ready to take further steps on the path of building the Union State of Russia and Belarus, including to set up a common money issuance center, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.

"It is time to assess what has happened to the Union Treaty since 1999, what has been done and what has failed to be done," he said, adding that there are two scenarios for further integration.

"One scenario can be called conservative as it provides for the keeping of the current Union State’s format, without raising the integration level to the limits set by the treaty of December 8, 1999, without forming all the institutions envisaged by that treaty," he noted, adding that in this event the sides will continue to shape the Eurasian Economic Union of five nations, namely Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, and continue to work on other projects.

The other cooperation scenario, in his words, is an "advanced scenario" "It is based on closer integration up to the frames fixed in the treaty, with the countries’ economies being more interdependent," he noted. "I would like to stress that Russia is ready to continue to follow the path of the Union State, including to set up a common money issuance center, a common customs service, a common court, a common audit chamber and so on, as provided by the Union State Treaty of December 8, 1999. In this case, we will be able to pursue a common tax policy, a common pricing policy and a common tariff policy in respect of the part that is now referred to the Eurasian Commission."

"It is up to the Union State Cabinet of Ministers and, naturally, to the Supreme State Council at the presidential level to discuss which of these two scenarios to choose. In any case, we are open for discussion of these matters," Medvedev stressed.