MOSCOW, March 25./TASS/. A merger of Russia and Belarus is not on the official agenda, and this is a non-issue, outgoing State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapota said in an interview with TASS on Thursday.
"Who is raising the issue of a merger? I haven’t heard about such a strategy. I haven’t seen it, nor do I know anything about it. This matter is far-fetched, plain and simple," the state secretary said in reply to a respective question. "No, it [the issue] has never been discussed [at the official level]. At least this objective is not being set. If it had been set, we would be working on this by now," the official emphasized.
Rapota stressed that there was never any intention of a merger, not even concerns about it, the subject was not addressed either to him or to the structures of the Union State. "If there had been such proposals, they would have been formulated at an authoritative level, and we would have been working on it," he assured.
On March 2, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that he considered a merger of Belarus and Russia with the creation of single governing bodies to be impractical.
The Belarusian leader has also said repeatedly that the existing agencies of the Union State of Russia and Belarus have not yet outlived their usefulness, and spoke against the creation of new structures.