Lukashenko: No Selfish Interests in Customs Union
Belarus has never pursued selfish interests developing the Customs Union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan and going for integration, including integration inside the Union State. The statement was made by president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko as he met with Executive Secretary of the Customs Union Commission Sergei Glazyev on 22 July.
According to the head of state, the Belarusian side cannot be blamed for the fact that "not everything in the Union of Belarus and Russia turns out well". "We don’t have the resources to slow down the Union of Belarus and Russia and have never had. It was created with a view to setting an example. So far the effect is reverse. This is why if there is some opportunity to advance in some other integration institutions, Belarus will never oppose the idea," said Alexander Lukashenko.
The President remarked that Belarus will be guided by national interests among other reasons while other countries focus purely on their own national interests. "When they start demonstrating this fact to us openly, saying that we are bench warmers, we disagree with this approach and fight it as hard as possible without braking these processes. If we see that it is absolutely unacceptable for us, we will seek other ways," said Alexander Lukashenko.
The president of Belarus underscored that the Belarusian side has absolutely no intention of braking the processes that have begun but, honoring its agreements, it will demand the same from its partners. In response to claims that Belarus would be "bent" if it did not join the Customs Union, Alexander Lukashenko said: "You can’t really bend us because our relations with Russia have advanced too far and there are relevant agreements. How is it possible to build a border between Belarus and Russia? You would have to denounce all the treaties that we have now".
In conclusion the Belarusian head of state re-iterated that so far the Customs Union has not brought huge benefits or damage to Belarus. "We are waiting, we are working to make things better," said Alexander Lukashenko.
In turn, Sergei Glazyev informed the Belarusian head of state about the formation of the Customs Union. In his words, the integration institution can produce a considerable effect in the future. Within five years the GDP inside the Customs Union is supposed to increase by about 15%. According to the official, the companies that use manufacturing cooperation schemes will benefit most. "Certainly, the transition period has its rough edges but on the whole the process is on track," said Sergei Glazyev.