Vladimir Putin: … We have signed important documents which have long been recognized as necessary.
The first – as Alexander Lukashenko has said – deals with the equating of our economic systems and the creation of a level playing field for business entities. We have agreed to give Belarus the domestic Russian prices for energy and railway tariffs. The energy tariffs will be introduced from May 1 of this year and the railway tariffs on July 1 of this year. By the same token we have agreed that we will seek to create a common joint stock company which would own the gas pipeline system on the territory of Belarus.
These procedures should go through several stages in accordance with the laws of our countries. We hope to complete them within the year. The first stage will occur approximately this summer and the final stage next year. On May 1 of this year, after our agreement on energy prices comes into force, the Decree of the President of Belarus canceling customs duties and tax breaks for some business entities in the Republic of Belarus will come into force. I repeat, all this is being done to create equitable conditions, a level playing field for our enterprises both in Belarus and in the Russian Federation.
We are to sign several more agreements, including on the principles of collecting taxes in the destination country and the need for certain compensations in connection with the Belarusian budget losses. Our experts are working on these issues together and I have no reason to doubt that this work will be crowned with success…
On the whole, we give a high assessment of the results of our work. I have every reason to believe that this is how we will work together in the future and that eventually we will achieve our goals of building a common economic space, introducing a single currency of the Union State and the ultimate goal of building the Union State we are talking so much about.