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Draft program of integration with Russia to be submitted to Belarusian president on Aug 27

After program is initialed it will be made public to 'remove people’s worries about sovereignty and other issues'

MINSK, August 23. /TASS/. Belarus’ government plans to submit its draft program of integration with Russia to President Alexander Lukashenko on August 27, Prime Minister Sergei Rumas said on Friday.

"On Tuesday (August 27), we will refer this draft program to the head of state for approval so that the prime ministers [of Belarus and Russia] could initial this program of actions," he said in an interview with the Belarus-1 television program.

According to the Belarusian prime minister, after the program is initialed it will be made public to "remove people’s worries about sovereignty and other issues."

"The program is geared towards implementation of purely economic provisions and envisages mechanisms to ensure the operation of a common market in the two countries," he said. "Companies should enjoy equal conditions on the common market. Saying equal conditions, we mean equal energy prices, equal tax burden, equal regulatory requirements."

"This set of instruments will make it possible for Belarusian companies to have equal access to the Russian market," Rumas noted. "And, naturally, this is a two-way road: there will be no barriers for Russian companies to be present on the Belarusian market."

In December 2018, Russian and Belarusian Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, took a decision to set up an intergovernmental working group on integration development. It Russian part is chaired by Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin, and the Belarusian co-chair is Economy Minister Dmitry Krutoi.

After talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in late June, Rumas said that Minsk and Moscow would agree all the integration roadmaps, primarily by economic sectors, by November.

After Putin’s talks with Lukashenko on the sidelines of a forum of Russian and Belarusian regions in St. Petersburg in July, Krutoi said the presidents had exchanged their principled views on the matters of integration and advanced a number of initiatives.