Putin and Lukashenko approve 28 ‘union programs’ for integrating Russia and Belarus
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko have inked a package of 28 “union programs” aimed at integrating their two countries.
The two leaders agreed upon the programs following talks in the Kremlin on September 9. The stamp of approval came during a meeting of the Union’s Supreme State Council on Thursday, November 4, which took place via video link.
Reportedly, the union programs include plans to integrate the two countries’ currency systems, create a common payment system, and harmonize taxation. On Thursday, the Supreme State Council also approved the concept of a common migration policy and adopted an updated military doctrine.
“We intend to jointly resist any attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of our sovereign states. And Russia, of course, will continue to provide aid to the brotherly Belarusian people. There’s no doubt here,” Putin said during Thursday’s meeting, as quoted by TASS.
The Russian and Belarusian authorities have been discussing the political integration of their two countries since 1999. In 2019–2020, the talks centered around so-called union programs (previously referred to as “roadmaps”) aimed at integrating various economic and administrative sectors. The drafts of these “roadmaps” were never made public. In the past, residents of Belarus have protested against plans to integrate the country with Russia.
The Russian government has only spoken about the 28 union programs in general terms. The details of how they will be implemented remain unknown.