June 25, 2012 marks the 20th anniversary from the day of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation.
The years that passed added new pages to the thousand-year-old history of our brotherly peoples that has its roots in the origins of our spiritual and cultural unity.
Signing of the Agreement on Establishment of the Union State on December 8, 1999, became the key element of the bilateral relations, securing the principle of sovereign equality of the two states and fundamental goals of ensuring their peaceful and democratic development, strengthening friendship, increasing prosperity and the standards of life or the citizens of Belarus and Russia. Making these principles come true allowed to achieve the highest level of integration within the CIS in the areas of economy, collective security, foreign policy, development of humanitarian ties, in ensuring equal rights for the citizens of Belarus and Russia.
The results achieved within the development of the Union have in effect cleared the way towards launching qualitatively new integration mechanism — Customs Union and Common Economic Space of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. Now there is a task of creating Eurasian Economic Union as a qualitatively new stage of the integration process which will lead to substantial strengthening of positions of our states on international markets and will create additional possibilities for accelerated modernization of the economies.
Belarus and Russia actively participate in the Collective Security Treaty Organization which is a considerable factor of stability and security for entire region.
Intensive political dialog is a characteristic feature of Belarus-Russia relations. Regular personal contacts of the highest leaders of Belarus and Russia have a special, trust-based nature. Official visit of the President of the Russian Federation, V.V. Putin to the Republic of Belarus on May 31, 2012, as well as the results of the meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State on November 25, 2011 had a paramount importance for the development of integration.
Inter-parliamentary contacts, activity of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia play a significant role in cooperation by effectively covering rule-making component of the Union-building processes.
Trade and economic relations between Belarus and Russia are dynamically developing. A vivid illustration is the achieved volume of trade between Belarus and Russia which in 2011 exceeded US$ 38 billion and has a steady growth trend. Joint programs within the Union State are successfully implemented, contributing to the development of intensive cooperation in a number of high technology and science-intensive industries.
Cooperation between the regions makes a significant contribution to the deepening of integration, involving every year an ever growing circle of participants.
Exceptional significance is attributed to the development of cultural and humanitarian cooperation. The years of culture of Belarus and Russia are organized on a regular basis, cultural exchanges and cooperation programs in science, education, sports are implemented, inter-church dialog is carried on.
Minsk and Moscow share views on fundamental changes occurring in the contemporary world, characterized by acceleration of polycentric international system formation process. Our countries are distinguished for their endeavor to create a more fair and democratic world order, based on the leading role of the United Nations Security Council in ensuring peace and security, supremacy of international law, multilateral and collective approaches in solving urgent global and regional problems. We actively promote the development of broad, non-discriminatory and mutually beneficial partnership aimed at peace and prosperity of all nations and peoples.
The stern will of our states to further deepen all-round integration processes and the groundwork already created in this field allow looking into the future with optimism. Development of strategic partnership between Belarus and Russia and rapprochement between the two brotherly peoples is aimed at providing new impetus to progressive development of multidimensional bilateral relations and will serve as the guarantee of security, stability and prosperity of our states in the 21st century.