Mikhail Mishustin’s meeting with Prime minister of Belarus Sergei Roumas

The meeting followed a session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council.

Excerpts from the transcript:

Mikhail Mishustin’s meeting with Prime minister of Belarus Sergei Roumas

Mikhail Mishustin: Mr Roumas, good afternoon once again. Today we are ready to discuss current issues on the Russian-Belarusian agenda. The agenda includes the Union State, as well as cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union. Belarus is an ally and a strategic partner of Russia. 8 December 2019 marked the 20th anniversary of the treaty establishing the Union State. I believe that we need to fully implement the potential of the treaty and ensure the maximum harmonisation of our national legislations. This will allow us to create a new driver for economic growth, facilitate business relations, and increase the welfare of the citizens of Russia and Belarus.

The members of the new Government of the Russian Federation are absolutely determined to work constructively with our partners. I hope we can go through the entire agenda today and agree on further actions.

Sergei Roumas: Thank you, Mr Mishustin. First, once again I want to congratulate you, in this bilateral format, on your appointment to the post of head of the Government of the Russian Federation and wish you success in this assignment.

Today we held the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council meeting. I want to note with great satisfaction that you have been very actively involved in our agenda. Of course, a great number of issues were not new to you because you have been involved in this integration, and because our tax authorities and labeling systems, the entire digital agenda, are related to our tax services. At the same time, I noticed that you also expressed your position on other issues on the agenda. The appointment of a Deputy Prime Minister in charge of integration, without doubt, shows the level of attention that the Government of Russia will devote to our integration. So, I am hoping that Russia will be very active during Belarus’s year of chairmanship in the Eurasian Economic Union.

As for our bilateral agenda, I would like to take this opportunity to discuss issues of bilateral cooperation. You will head the Government in a challenging period as Russian leadership has set a lot of new goals for the Government, including in the context of amendments to the Constitution. But esteemed Mr Mishustin, I would like to express my desire that, despite the busy domestic agenda, you will still find time to be involved in our bilateral agenda, and the issues of bilateral cooperation between Belarus and Russia will remain among the priorities of the Government of the Russian Federation.

Indeed, today we can discuss a number of issues, including those that intersect with the Eurasian agenda. These are issues of shoe labeling (we have discussed this), of interaction with the Russian Federation amid Belarus joining the World Trade Organisation, and of course, these issues are sensitive to us – in general, everything that is on our agenda today .