Source Pravda.Ru

Russia-Belarus trade turnover nears $10 billion

On the results of 2002, the trade turnover between Russia and Belarus is expected to make up about $10 billion, said ambassador of Belarus to Russia Vladimir Grigoryev.

He pointed out that in 1995, before the integration processes began, the trade turnover between the two countries was no more than $5 billion, and in 2001 it reached $9 billion.

According to the ambassador, Belarus and Russia are consistently solving the tasks of forming a single economic space which provides for the free movement of goods, services, capitals, and labour force as well as equal conditions and guarantees for the activity of economic entities, and equal rights of citizens.

Grigoryev reported that as of today Belarus took the second place in Russian foreign trade after Germany, and this index is increasingly growing.

The Belarussian ambassador also said that "tangible changes" had taken place last year in creating equal conditions for economic entities of the two states.

The treaties of evening out prices on energy products and railway tariffs were the result of the joint work of the Russian and Belarussian governments. It is envisaged to solve the problems of indirect taxation in mutual trade and liquidate customs barriers.

Grigoryev also pointed out that the experience of the construction of the union state confirmed that the inter-state integration was a long process and did not depend on political will only.

He believes it necessary to form the appropriate economic and other conditions and mutual ties. "The transition to the next, higher level of co-operation is possible only on condition of fulfilling all the tasks of the previous stages," the diplomat said.

The ambassador stressed that Belarus came out for the preservation and realisation of the Union treaty since its "norms make it possible to continue building the union state both in the present format and in the expanded one if necessary.