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On April 30, 2019, an expert seminar "Russia and Belarus: In Search of Effective Alliance Formula During the Period of Geopolitical Turbulence» was held by Russian International Affairs Council in partnership with the expert initiative Minsk Dialogue and Creative Diplomacy Center for Support and Development of Public Initiatives.

On April 30, 2019, an expert seminar "Russia and Belarus: In Search of Effective Alliance Formula During the Period of Geopolitical Turbulence» was held by Russian International Affairs Council in partnership with the expert initiative Minsk Dialogue and Creative Diplomacy Center for Support and Development of Public Initiatives.

The event was opened by Grigory Rapota, State Secretary of the Union State of Russia and Belarus, RIAC Member. Welcoming remarks were also made by Ivan Timofeev, RIAC Director of Programs, Alexander Kondakov, Head of Belarus Department of the Second CIS Department, Russian MFA, and Natalia Kislekova, Minister-counselor of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the Russian Federation.

The following issues were discussed in the course of the meeting: the future of the Union State of Russia and Belarus, the complexity and challenges of the current Russia-Belarus relations. Experts and diplomats spoke about the prospects for cooperation within the EAEU framework, as well as the peculiarities of the foreign policy strategies of Russia and Belarus.

The speakers focused on the challenges and principles of the alliance of the two countries, as well as the development prospects of the Union State in the context of escalating geopolitical tensions.

The experts noted that the West does not seek to recognize the integration structures in the post-Soviet space and to conduct dialog with them, which leads to difficulties in implementation of common Eurasian space. The Union State of Russia and Belarus is part of the common global plan for creating single economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok. But at this stage Russia and Belarus do not have necessary economic capacities for this, moreover, there are no equal economic conditions to overcome differences on economic issues, which in turn obstructs the development of cultural, educational, and humanitarian integration necessary for consolidation of the population and maintaining the relevance for the creation of the Union State. Another challenge on the way to deepening the integration between Russia and Belarus is the lack of necessary infrastructure, common transport space, and coordination on the foreign policy.

It is also an omission that the two states are unable to develop a common vision of the Union State. The national interests of each country prevail over the national interests of the Union State, to be formulated in the future. The speakers also underscored the fact that despite the difficulties in the implementation of the Union State, both Russia and Belarus are interested in it, and allied relations should be based on national interests, equal opportunities, and pragmatism.

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     36 (35%)
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     27 (26%)
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