"Belarus and Russia have "no alternative to joining a greater Europe." This is what deputy chairman of the State Duma (the lower house of the parliament) of Russia Vladimir Lukin has said this Friday while opening the parliamentary hearings in Minsk on the prospects of economic cooperation between Belarus and Russia.
In his opinion, the integration of Belarus and Russia into the European community will be more effective, if the two states are more integrated and, therefore, economically more powerful. "Europe needs us as integrated entities," Vladimir Lukin said.
As the deputy believes, the level of economic integration between Belarus and Russia is not yet sufficient. In particular, he characterised as "inadmissible" the fact that Russia holds only the 8th place in terms of investments in Belarus.
Vladimir Lukin also considers it topical to create a single monetary unit of the Union State and unify the legislations of both countries.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart