MINSK, September 20. /TASS/. Russia and Belarus have reached a high level of interaction within the Union State framework that requires further expansion, Secretary General of the Union State of Russia and Belarus Grigory Rapota said in an interview with the Belarus-1 TV Channel.
"We have very close relations at present in the sphere of science and technology, very serious ones that pertain to life of people. For example, issues of creating new pharmaceuticals or spinal therapy for children with congenital or acquired defects. Why all that should be lost? Furthermore, I believe all these matters require expansion," the official says.
Cooperation between the two countries directly concerns a great many nationals of Russia and Belarus, Rapota noted. "We can call it the Union State, we can change the name - it does not matter. The main point is the substantial side of the issue. It is important to be preserved because this pertains to life of people, to daily life of individuals," he said.
"This comprises the issues of traveling, employment, and generally the condition when Belarusians do not feel themselves as foreigners in Russia and Russians - as foreigners in Belarus," the official noted. "The whole world is moving in this direction and we are not an exception in this regard," he added.
The Agreement on the Union State of Russia and Belarus came into force on January 26, 2000 after ratification by diets of the two countries. The international treaty framework for the Russian-Belarusian cooperation comprises about 200 of interstate and intergovernmental agreements.