How did you work in the past year and what are the views for the coming year? How did the pandemic affect the affairs in the Union State and how to overcome its consequences? Deputy Secretary of State of the Union State, member of the Standing Committee Alexei Kubrin told SOYUZ about this.
Alexey Alexandrovich, how would you briefly sum up the results of the past year?
Alexey Kubrin: It was not easy not only for the Union State, but also for the whole world. As elsewhere, a certain recession took place in the economy. This is largely due to the fact that a number of events involving a large number of participants could not be carried out due to pandemic requirements. The signing of some contracts for the supply of products manufactured in Russia and Belarus was not ensured either. Therefore, compared to the same period in 2019, the drop in mutual trade was 15-18 percent. However, if we talk about a high-tech product (the supply of automotive equipment, microelectronic elements), then the drop was much less, about ten percent.
What about union projects?
Alexey Kubrin: There is also some decline here. But with regard to high-tech programs and projects within the framework of interaction between law enforcement agencies, the general trend is quite stable. We have certain parameters (disbursement of funds at least 90 percent and release of a high-tech product), and we have achieved this in all areas. Problems arose over the activities of the Union State. As a rule, they concerned the movement of participants from Russia to Belarus or vice versa. This is the holding of various conferences and youth gatherings. Some had to be canceled due to the requirements of Rospotrebnadzor and the Ministry of Health of Belarus. Even some of the Slavianski Bazaar events were held in the format of a video conference. The same applies to the Forum of the Regions of Belarus and Russia – the most important event, to which the presidents of our countries pay great attention. But these changes did not bring global losses, there was no failure. And in the coming year, if we manage to more or less stabilize the pandemic situation, we will overcome the lag.
The Secretary of State of the Union State and you took part in a meeting at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the results were summed up and the prospects for cooperation were outlined. What exactly has been decided?
Alexey Kubrin: We indicated that high-tech union programs were being successfully implemented. These are “SG Integration”, “Autoelectronics”, space programs, machine building. But they talked more about promising directions. In particular, that it is planned to correct the list of ongoing programs of the Union State at a meeting of the working commission on the unified scientific and technological space. The results of consideration and selection of projects within the framework of awarding the prize in the field of science and technology of the Union State were also discussed. The highest marks were given to two areas in space activities and one in the field of biotechnology (production of human lactoferrin from transgenic animals). At a meeting of the UNTP commission, these proposals must be officially approved. It is also planned to consider promising programs there. There are very interesting topics, for example, in space. We continue to focus on the remote sensing of the Earth, where we have already advanced far. Also, a number of promising programs are undergoing preliminary consideration in ministries and departments.
Alexey Kubrin: The radiation safety program was initiated by the Ministries of Emergency Situations of Russia and Belarus. Its importance is emphasized by the fact that the stage of commissioning of the Belarusian NPP has begun. Naturally, the scientific approach and preparation of joint actions of Belarusian and Russian specialists in this area are absolutely legitimate and must be officially formalized, it is necessary to create a technological base and train specialists for relevant research. We have not forgotten about medicine, in particular, telemedicine issues are extremely important today. And about the “Flax” program (issues of cultivation, processing technology and, most importantly, obtaining a competitive material from flax). In total, about 7-8 concepts of new programs have been prepared by the NAS of Belarus. Very interesting questions lie in the field of large-scale fundamental research – the Russian Academy of Sciences came up with this proposal. The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus supported him. We are thinking how to implement it. Within the framework of the regulatory and legal framework of the Union State, such programs have not yet been created; today they are of a point-and-branch nature. But everyone came to the conclusion that a common ideology for the development of a single scientific and technological space of our states should also be formed.
Perhaps such a program will speed up its creation. How important is it?
Alexey Kubrin: This task has been faced since the beginning of union integration. However, things are not so simple. The process has slowed down, including due to the pandemic, but no one is interested in delaying it.
Infographics “RG” / Anton Perepletchikov / Yulia Vasilyeva
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