MOSCOW, February 16./TASS/. The idea of establishing a full-fledged Union State of Russia and Belarus has failed to stand the test of time. Integration will continue, especially on the economic track, but within the framework of two independent states, Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS Countries Vladimir Zharikhin told TASS on Tuesday.
"Integration is possible with Russia, it has reached a high level. I think it will continue in the economic sector in the future," he said. "However, the idea of forming political integration, that is to shape a real Union State exactly as a common state, failed to stand the test of time," Zharikhin said.
"Integration will continue, but as integration of two independent states. Having very close relations both economically and politically, but independent," he stressed.
According to him, it was not by chance that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had stated clearly at the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly that any new supra-national political authorities except for those that already existed were unnecessary. The analyst also noted that such an authority of the Union State as the Parliamentary Assembly had an absolutely formal role.
"In any case this [cooperation] happens on a bilateral basis, on the interstate basis of Russia and Belarus, while no extension of economic integration happens within the framework of Union State's structures," the expert noted.
Focusing on the situation in Belarus after the People’s Assembly, the expert noted that Lukashenko had calmed down and was not seeing the situation as dramatic and dangerous for himself as it was just a month or a month-and-a-half ago.
According to the analyst, the Belarusian leader had decided that he would go without meeting the pledges he had made back then, in the midst of a crisis. "Which means not being in a hurry to make constitutional amendments, maintain the presidential form of government, and there is no talk any longer of an early election after constitutional amendments," he explained.