Mikhail Mishustin holds a strategic session to promote humanitarian cooperation with Belarus

Mikhail Mishustin’s opening remarks:

Good afternoon, colleagues,

During our strategic session today, we will focus on
promoting humanitarian cooperation with Belarus, our closest ally and
partner. I would like to extend a special welcome to our esteemed guests,
Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Mikhail Myasnikovich
and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Russia Dmitry

As President Putin emphasised at the meeting of the
Supreme State Council of the Union State in April, Russia
and Belarus
are united by traditional friendship and common cultural, spiritual, and moral
values. We use this foundation to build the Union State
and to strengthen integration across all areas, not just in trade, the economy,
industry, or the social sphere, but also, importantly, in the humanitarian
sphere which we will cover extensively today.

Together, we are implementing in full coordination 28
union programmes. These programmes were approved by resolution of the Supreme
State Council of the Union
State under our
presidents, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko.

Unity between our countries is needed now more than
ever in the face of external challenges. Russia
and Belarus
are jointly opposing the full-scale sanctions war being waged against us, the
unlawful trade and economic restrictions, and the strong information pressure
from the collective West.

We should respond to these challenges by speeding up
integration processes within the Union
State and creating
additional opportunities for the citizens of our countries, primarily, the
youth. We need to create a unified and barrier-free socioeconomic, cultural and
humanitarian space. These are the instructions that our presidents have issued
to us.

Deepening ties in science and education is our
priority. It is essential to boost the appeal of studying at Russian colleges
and universities for Belarusian applicants, and vice versa.

We have made several significant decisions. When young
people from fraternal Belarus
apply to study in Russia,
their results in Olympiads and centralised testing, which is equivalent to our
Unified State Exam, are taken into account. The state quota has been increased
to 1,300 spots for this academic year.

The Belarusian-Russian
University in Mogilev
has been successful, and there are plans to expand the network of branches of
our universities in Belarus
and to establish an educational cluster for the Union State.

As evidenced by the successful Congress of Young
Scientists of Russia and Belarus,
held in March at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the public is interested
in launching new and promising initiatives.

Strengthening cultural ties is another area of focus.
There are many talented people among our compatriots. Residents of the Union State
should have the opportunity to get acquainted with the works of artists and the
art of the theatre, to visit concerts, exhibitions, and to read good books. To get
there, we need to ramp up interaction between our theatres, museums, libraries,
archives, and to develop tour projects. It is also crucial to actively involve
regions and cities, and to make use of the potential of the Forum of the

Sports deserve a separate mention.

Unfortunately, due to the illegal sanctions, Russian
and Belarusian athletes’ ability to participate in many international
competitions has been undermined. Given the circumstances, we need to focus on
developing our own national platforms and to engage with associations such as
the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation,
and BRICS.

In August, Belarus successfully hosted the 2nd
CIS Games, where Russians and Belarusians showed excellent results. We need to
think about ways to continue to offer similar competitions.

Russia and Belarus
are closely connected, including traditions, shared values, rich history, and
heroic past, all of which are equally important to our citizens.

Together, we must do everything necessary to preserve
the historical memory of our forefathers for future generations and to counter
the attempts to downplay the achievements of our ancestors.

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