Our strategic partnership with Russia is to be attributed to our geographic location, close historic and cultural links between our countries and peoples, economic ties and co-operation between the Belarusian and Russian businesses.
Signed by the heads of states in 1999, the Agreement on Establishment of the Union State of Belarus and Russia sets up a legal basis for integration between the two countries.
According to the Agreement Belarus and Russia defined a series of major goals: to ensure peaceful and democratic development, to establish a single economic and customs area and proper legal framework, to ensure sustainable economic development, to pursue the agreed foreign, defence and social policies, to ensure security and fight against crime.
Both countries move on all directions mentioned above gradually, taking into consideration the priority of social and economic matters. We develop our partnership under the unquestioned principles of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of both nations as well as due implementation of their international obligations.
Trade and Economic Cooperation
Traditionally, Russia is both our key trade partner and a major export market for Belarusian manufactures.
In 2014 the mutual trade amounted to $ 37.6 billion, with exports to Russia reaching $ 15.3 billion and imports from Russia — $ 22.3 billion. Russia accounts for 48.8 percent of the Belarusian foreign trade. Belarus is one of Russia’s five major trading partners. The other top 5 countries are China, the Netherland, Germany and Italy.
Belarus and Russia successfully cooperate in the area of energy and energy resources. Properly fulfilling its obligations in terms of the transit of the Russian energy recourses to European countries, Belarus contributes significantly to the regional energy security.
Along with cooperation in the framework of the Union State our countries support strengthening of multilateral cooperation and participate actively in other integration projects in the post-Soviet area.
Belarus and Russia consider the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) as the most advanced integration community in the post-Soviet area which helps its member-states to create conditions necessary for the free flow of goods, services and capital and unimpeded movement of labour force as well as equal conditions and guaranties for economic agents.
Belarus and Russia co-ordinate effectively their foreign policies according to the Programme of agreed measures in the field of foreign policy adopted anew every two years.
We have already achieved significant results in the field of security and defence, antiterrorist activities, fight against crime and signed a number of bilateral agreements in the field of military and technical cooperation.
Security and defence
Belarus and Russia have set up a joint regional military force which operates effectively. The two countries coordinate their air defence systems, perform joint military exercises, consider a number of questions regarding operative and combat training.
Law enforcement activities are being constantly improved. We continue to build a unified crime database in the sphere of fight against crime. On the territories of our states we take coordinated measures to prevent, reveal and suppress crimes, terrorist acts and human trafficking. On our western border we keep on performing joint actions against drug trafficking and illegal migration.
Our major priority is to make sure that citizens of Belarus and Russia have equal rights. Both countries work to launch a single system of social guarantees and gradually unify national legislations on labour issues.
Today the Belarusians and the Russians have equal opportunities as far as employment, choice of residence, education, healthcare and social protection are concerned.
Crossing the border between Belarus and Russia the citizens of the two countries do not need to undergo any customs controls or to receive and fill in a migration card.
The two countries enhance their cultural co-operation. One of our biggest and most renowned joint cultural projects is Slaviansky Bazar held annually in Vitebsk. A number of other joint art, theatre and cinema festivals are held by our countries annually.
Our co-operation with Russia embraces many other areas. Joint programmes in science, R&D, industry, construction, innovations, new technologies and IT form an effective mechanism allowing to fast-track integration between the Belarusian and Russian enterprises.
Brought into life, these programmes contribute significantly to competitiveness of the goods manufactured, exploitation of manufacturing facilities at full capacity, creation of new jobs and improvement of export potential of enterprises of both countries.
The Belarusian-Russian dialogue is a close interaction in all spheres of cooperation maintained and developed for the benefit of the fraternal peoples of the two countries.
To read about Belarus co-operation with Russian regions click here