Lukashenko Calls Belarus-Russia Union State A Geopolitical Reality
MINSK, September 6 (RIA Novosti) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Tuesday that the Belarus-Russia union state had become a geopolitical reality.

"Today it is evident to anyone that our integration has taken place. The Belarus-Russia union has become a geopolitical reality," he said while opening the first Belarusian-Russian economic forum.

Lukashenko said a number of organizations had been established in post-Soviet countries for the last 15 years.

"Our Union is leading these processes as an example of equal cooperation," he said.

Lukashenko said Belarus and Russia were not restricted by the framework of bilateral cooperation.

"We are trying to resolve the problems of international policy," he said.

Lukashenko said the adoption of the union state's constitution would bring the two states even closer to each other, but unification would not be simple.

The Belarusian leader said economic cooperation was a "powerful foundation of the integration processes."

He said the results of this were evident: if earlier Russia-Belarus turnover was $5 billion, then in 2004 it reached some $18 billion. Lukashenko said this growth was unprecedented for such a short period.

"The economic integration of Belarus and Russia is rather the desire of the two nations than the result of the work done by the presidents and governments. If they [the people of Russia and Belarus] want to live in a single state, this will happen sooner or later," he said.