MOSCOW : Russia and Belarus plan to create a common tax and customs system as well as common energy market by 2021, with other areas of integration set to include banking supervision and currency control, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported on Monday, citing sources.
The relevant provisions are reportedly contained in the draft bilateral program of action that was initialed by the two prime ministers, Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and Sergei Rumas of Belarus, on September 6.
According to the newspaper, the program envisages the partial unification of the two economies starting from January 2021.
In particular, the two nations are expected to work out a common tax code by April 1, 2021.
Since 2021, the Russian Central Bank of Russia and the National Bank of Belarus will also start working on common principles of banking and financial supervision, while the two economy ministries will create a road map on common regulation.
The document, however, does not provide any switch to a single currency, but does stipulate harmonized macroeconomic policy, unified currency control and payment systems and, at least partly, a common investment protection regime – all these issues due to be agreed by the central banks and the economy ministries of the two countries.
Other two important areas of integration are customs and energy policies. The common customs policy may include joint customs raids, a common information system and, possibly, the common customs service.
The energy policy suggests the creation of a common regulator of gas, oil, petroleum and electricity markets, with no further details available.
Defense, state security, court, law enforcement, education, health and science, as well as public administration will remain under full national control.
The two nations strive to maintain a high level of integration in pursuit of their 1999 Treaty on the Creation of a Union State of Russia and Belarus.