Mikhail Mishustin met in Minsk with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko after the meeting of the EAEU. The Belarusian leader said that he intends to discuss “strange things” happening during the presidential elections in the Republic, and stated that the Union between the two countries should be based only on an equal basis. The meeting of politicians against the backdrop of hints of Minsk that Russia’s intervention in elections in Belarus.
In Minsk on 17 July, a meeting of the Eurasian economic Union (EEU), after which the Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Mishustin met with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko.
On Friday in the capital brought together heads of governments of all countries of the Eurasian economic Union (EEU) of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. Michael mishustina’s visit to Minsk was the first since the start of the pandemic coronavirus.
Overall, on the agenda was the most relevant Union issues: free movement of goods, barriers to trade, the implementation of the agreement on the labeling of products with means of identification, labor migration, and the struggle of the countries with the coronavirus and its impact on the economy.
According to a statement, the main problem remain barriers to trade and movement of goods across borders.
This drew the attention of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin, noting that the President wants to identify comprehensive solutions to this issue. The existence of such problems, said President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko during the meeting with the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan.
“Well, what’s there to be honest? A lot of problems in the EEC in terms of the fact that we have not fulfilled what was agreed. Not something that’s already the plan, we still have barriers enough. Inter-state borders brought in connection with the barriers to such an extent that the business often says: “You have set the boundaries between States will be easier for us”… Seems to be no borders, and withdrawal, tension on the border of excessive,” he said.
He also noted that Minsk and Yerevan have similar economic situation, in connection with which the parties have common problems in that direction.
“We have almost the same economy, we rely on the real economy, we have no large reserves of hydrocarbons, as in other of our colleagues… We have more difficult when prices fall: Kazakhstan and Russia have great opportunities and these opportunities we have,” — said the Belarusian leader also expressed hope that the meeting of the Prime Ministers progress in this matter.
During a meeting of heads of government Mikhail Mishustin suggested to use used in Russia customs and fiscal instruments to resolve differences related to the movement of goods across borders of member countries of the EAEU.
In this case, in particular, will need to review the customs practices of the Eurasian economic Union, harmonization of conditions of business and number of procedures in the so-called digital form, said the Prime Minister.
Michael Mishustin has proposed to create within the Union a specialized information system in the sphere of labor migration that would provide access to information on vacancies and applicants to the appropriate resources of the member States of the Union.
Also during the meeting, the participants managed to generate a draft map of industrialization with orders with a total value of almost $200 billion, as reported by the Chairman of the Eurasian economic Commission (EEC) Mikhail Myasnikovich.
He also said that another positive outcome of the meeting was the adoption of a programme on outer space. According to Myasnikovich, in the framework of the EEC formed a constellation of five spacecraft for remote sensing and exchange of information within the Union. In addition, the Chairman of the Board, the EEU is said about the importance of the program for agro-industry, aimed at “achieving full food security”.
However, he, like other participants in the meeting said the presence of obstacles in trade between countries of the Union.
“This year alone, we eliminated nine of the 15 barriers. However, little has grown and new. But, in principle, there is an understanding that the obstacles that are generated in the domestic market, it is necessary to solve quite quickly,” he said.
Another result of the meeting was the adoption by the membership of the plan of pandemic coronavirus.
As reported on the website of the Eurasian economic Commission, the plan involves the exchange of information, implementation of the agreed algorithm response to outbreaks of infectious diseases, joint development of recommendations for laboratory studies, and joint research to ensure access to quality, safe and effective diagnostic tools and vaccines.
Meeting with Lukashenko
The second important part of the visit mishustina in Minsk began the meeting with Alexander Lukashenko, which takes place on the backdrop of the presidential elections. Part of the race were the hints of the President on the intervention of foreign forces in the elections, the funding of “Russian oligarchs” of other candidates, as well as the spread of the “puppeteers” of the Russian Federation in a network “terrible fakes”.
Lukashenko promised to tell Russian Prime Minister “strange things” happening during the campaign for presidential election of Belarus.
“I think one on one we will exchange some opinions and questions. I will tell you what is happening now in the electoral period. Very strange things happen. Sometimes I start to think long based on my experience, where it comes from. But every work, so will tell you about it,” — said Lukashenko at the meeting with Mishustin.
Two days before the arrival of the Russian Prime Minister, Deputy head of the Department of financial investigations of the state control Committee of Belarus (SCC FID) Dmitry Diaghilev, the TV channel Belarus 1 reported new details in the “Belgazprombank”, in which former President of the Bank Victor Babariko charged with money laundering, tax evasion and bribery.
Babariko put forward his candidacy for the presidency, however, on 14 July, Central election Commission of Belarus refused to register him.
According to Diaghilev, the FID SCC was arrested at Belgazprombank account of the wife of the Deputy Minister of Russia Andrei Kruglov, in the past one of the top managers of “Gazprom”. He also said that especially for Kruglov was established an exclusive agreement for placing the currency of the loan.
In the words of Diaghilev, “during the period of existence of the Bank was concluded only three of the loan agreement with physical persons — nonresidents of the Republic of Belarus: two with Kruglov Andrei Vyacheslavovich totaling 8.5 million euros and one with his wife in the amount of 3 million euros”. In 2019 Kruglov was appointed Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation and has stopped cooperation with “BGB”, but the Bank remained the loan of his wife.
Seizure of property by the wife of Deputy Finance Minister, anyway, looks like a step in the direction of evidence of accusations of “foreign interference” in Belarusian elections. However, Russia is cool enough to react to all these allusions and statements from the Belarusian side. So, commenting on the arrest of accounts of spouses Kruglov, a press-the Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that this topic is not in the competence of the Kremlin. The same was said about the “the BGB”, which, according to the management of Minsk, are “big bosses in “Gazprom”, and maybe higher.”
Anyway, the elections in Belarus were probably raised during the meeting mishustina and Lukashenko. Another issue for discussion was the creation of the Union state.
Despite the stable operation of Federal authorities, Moscow and Minsk over 20 years since the signing of the Treaty on the Union state has not fulfilled many of his points. It was planned that the situation will correct the signing of the renewed Union Treaty, but it did not take place. Total planned to sign the 31 road map that would help Moscow and Minsk to come to provisions indicated in the contract 20 years ago.
The main contradiction at this stage of the work on integration were the issues of oil prices, namely the change in tax policy in Russia. The debate escalated at the end of last year. The parties were unable to agree on the cost of supply, in connection with the January Russian company has stopped pumping. In April, after a three-month break, the deliveries were resumed.
Finally, on July 14 Mikhail Mishustin and his Belarusian colleague Roman Golovchenko signed three documents in the energy sector. One of them regulates the conditions of Russian oil supplies, the other two relate to changes in agreements on construction of the Belarusian NPP. According to Golovchenko, all agreements beneficial to Belarus.
“Only the construction of a nuclear power station the Republic has received savings of hundreds of millions of dollars”, — said the Belarusian Premier.
During the meeting with Lukashenka Mikhail Mishustin urged to find new measures for the implementation of the Union Treaty.
“I would like to mention the prospects of our fraternal allied relations that are inherent in the Union contract. You were the initiator, dear Alexander G., this Treaty relationship. I thought that if we made more effort with the government of Belarus, in Russia, you could find quite a number of measures, new measures that would be revealed in a new light the possibilities of a Union contract,” he said.
In turn, Alexander Lukashenko noted that relations should be based only on an equal basis. The Belarusian leader said that now “it is impossible, in the middle ages, to capture some country and subjugate 100-150 years”.
“The situation is different. Yes and no, Yes, and Russia their land enough, if to speak about Russia… But if someone thinks outside of our country, on the other hand such things and notions, I think that his life was short-lived,” — said Lukashenko.
The theme of the sovereignty of the Republic became another tool of the election campaign of the President of Belarus. He stated the need to protect the independence of the country, “because the war with us is dangerous, and tilt necessary”, that the Western and Eastern forces have concentrated their interest in the elections in the Republic or that the sovereignty of Belarus is not for sale.
Such statements are aimed at voters Lukashenko — the President hopes to create the image of an external enemy, encroaching on the independence of the country from which he protects the Republic.
“[Lukashenko hopes] that will be exhibited as a victim against which the “paw of the Kremlin” somehow affected. It is important to show the presence of some external forces, external enemies, who are trying to clean it up out of the chair,” — said in a conversation with “Газетой.Ru” Belarusian political analyst Dmitry Bolkunets.
However, the Belarusian leader does not abandon his rhetoric about the proximity of Russia and Belarus.
“As for our relations, you should know that we’re not going anywhere, as some are trying to represent Belarus… We are on this piece of land. She’s always been near and dear to the Russian people, the Russians, it will always remain so, even if you don’t want: the people will understand without us how to live. But I wish we were present during this process,” — said Lukashenko Mishustin, adding that Russia should be a “locomotive” for processes, particularly economic, in the post-Soviet space.
He also asked the Russian Prime Minister to tell Vladimir Putin’s invitation to Minsk.
“Please, my good friend [Russian President] do give my best wishes, and greetings from the Belarusian people. It here love and respect and he knows it. We are waiting for him after the meeting of heads of government for face-to-face meeting in Minsk in the framework of the EurAsEC,” — said Lukashenko.