MOSCOW, September 9. /TASS/. Belarus will be ready to develop the economic integration with Russia, if people of both states will so desire, President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday.
"We will return to any problem, including political ones, if we find it necessary. And we will build our relations based on that," he said. "It is most important that our peoples desire that."
"I support the idea of the President of Russia: when time comes, when you get ready, then it won’t take long on our side," Lukashenko noted.
Belarus and Russia may immediately become even closer
Belarus and Russia may immediately become even closer in military and political dimension, should it become necessary, Lukashenko said.
"We are intelligent enough people, and, if we ever need to have absolutely close relations, even stronger than those within a unitary state, we [with Vladimir Putin] will do it just like that," he said.
"There is no point in reiterating old slogans that we are trying to absorb anyone or unite against the will of our peoples," Lukashenko noted.
Belarus will be ready to develop the economic integration with Russia, if people of both states will so desire, he added.
"We will do everything that is in the interest of our peoples. If we ever need an even closer military, political or other dimension, an economic integration, we will do it immediately, as soon as we feel our people in Belarus and Russia," the president underscored.
He noted that Minsk and Moscow build the "integrational house" from the ground up, and the ide to build it starting from the roof has long been abandoned.
"We do not want to repeat the mistakes made in our union state - the Soviet Union; we make certain conclusions. Time has passed, some things we missed, we can talk about it, argue about it, but we have returned to creating a foundation. It is impossible to build the integrational house without a foundation that the [Russian] President talked about. We have long abandoned the idea of building this house from the rooftop," Lukashenko said.
He reminded that, in late 1990s, during the exchange of ratification certificates on the Union agreement, Presidents of Russia and Belarus agreed to maintain a multi-speed, multi-level integration: the Union of Belarus and Russia, the Eurasian Customs Union and the CIS.
"These three levels on the post-Soviet space had different speeds, but we [in the Union of Belarus and Russia] were ahead. We today make an example of how the CIS should move towards the EAEU," Lukashenko said. "Like a bulldozer, we move in the front, clearing the road for associations on the post-Soviet space.".
Problems in the bilateral relations
Belarus and Russia still have not addressed all problematic points in the bilateral relations but they have laid down the foundation to continue moving forward, Lukashenko said.
"It is clear that we still have some knots untied in our relations, it is normal when we are dealing with this scale of interaction, but there is a platform to advance further. Thanks to it, we will continue ensuring social guarantees and gradually improve welfare of Belarusians and Russians," he said.
Putin announced after talks with Lukashenko that the leaders had reached agreements on all Union State programs, documents about deeper integration for the two states. Putin said that the parties had managed to reach agreements on the single macroeconomic policy, integration of payment systems, as well as on deepening cooperation on information security, customs, tax, energy and other areas.