Belarus - Russia: Further Stage of Integration \ Ural Latypov, Assistant to the President of the Republic of Belarus, Doctor of Juridical Sciences, Professor

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Опубликовано в библиотеке: 2014-04-22
Источник: "БЕЛАРУСЬ В МИРЕ" No.001 01-01-97

Answers of Ural Latypov* to the questions of Belarus in the World

Belarus in the World (BW): According to the Russian mass media, the previously elaborated Agreement on the Union between Russia and Belarus was reconsidered by B. Yeltsin's administration literally a few days before April 2. What are your comments on this event?

Ural Latypov (U.L.): The work over the pack of documents relative to the furthering of Belarusian-Russian integration began long ago. At the advanced stage (February-March) the coordination of documents was conducted by the commission, headed by M. Myasnikovich, Head of Administration of the President of the Republic of Belarus, and V. Serov, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation.

However, at the final ("presidential") stage a decision was made to amend the Agreement, initialled at the commission level. It is true that the initiative came from Russia?

BW: What is the nature of these changes?

U.L.: The joint commission was offered to sign a single document - the Agreement on the Union between Belarus and Russia.

Eventually, the Presidents have signed the Agreement on the Union between Belarus and Russia and the Memorandum on the procedure of its entry into force. The Charter of the Union has been initialled and will be signed after its open discussion.

BW: What is the difference between the Belarus-Russia Union from the Community of these two nation-states set up on April 2, 1996?

U.L.: The major difference is providing the efficiency of the inter-state bodies, providing for the cooperation of the two states.

The Union is a successor to the Community set up a year ago. Practically, all structures of the Community (the Supreme Soviet, the Executive Committee, etc.) remain the same. However, they will be granted as much additional authority as necessary for the practical implementation of the decisions that would be made.

BW: Compared to Belarus, Russia seems to be a giant in every respect. It exceeds Belarus by more than 15 times in terms of population, let alone the territory. Taken account of that, do you not think that a secondary role will be consigned to Belarus within the Union?

U.L.: The difference in real power between the two member-states of the Union is obvious.

However, the mechanism of cooperation within the Union is formed so that equal and mutually-beneficial relations could be provided.

"One state one vote" principle means that not a single decision touching upon the interests of Belarus can be made without the consent of the Belarusian leadership.

BW: Leaders of some countries believe that the Union between Belarus and Russia can be followed by the disruption of the Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS)? To what extent, in your opinion, this is possible?

U.L.: Most likely, this is merely an emotional reaction to the formation of the Union. In this regard, nothing is said as to in what way the Belarusian-Russian rapprochement can lead to the dissolution of the CIS.

To the contrary, in case the Belarusian-Russian integration is successful (first of all, economically and politically), it will lead to the consolidation of the Commonwealth.

It is exactly the integration at different pace that is capable of breathing new life into such an amorphous structure as the present CIS.

BW: Does the Belarusian-Russian rapprochement constitute a response to NATO enlargement?

U.L.: The main goal of the Belarusian-Russian integration is socio-economic. Free movement of people, information and goods within the Union must eventually provide for the realisation of human rights.

With account of links between these two nations, that lasted for centuries, the Belarusian-Russian rapprochement is inevitable under any international conditions.

Speaking about the NATO enlargement - both Minsk and Moscow consider this step a historic mistake that can lead to the redivision of Europe.

BW: Will not the Belarusian-Russian integration have an impact on the international situation in Belarus?

U.L.: We see that the documents signed on April 2, 1997, arouse different, but not always adequate, reaction.

I believe that foreign states will proceed from the objective criteria and take into consideration the fact that Belarus fully retains its statehood and sovereignty within the Union.

Being located in the heart of Europe, our country is ready for active and mutually beneficial co-operation.

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Источник: "БЕЛАРУСЬ В МИРЕ" No.001 01-01-97

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