1/8 Tass 302
LAKE SELIGER, Tver region, August 1 (Itar-Tass) —— Reunification of Russia and Belarus and the creation of a union state fully depend on the will of the Belarusian people, and it should fight for this idea.
At a meeting with the participants in the Seliger-2011 youth forum on Monday, August 1, one of them asked him whether Russia and Belarus could become one whole as they were in Soviet times.
“This is possible and quite desirable, but depends fully, by 100 percent, on the will of the Belarusian people,” Putin said.
In reply, a young man from Belarus said his people desired this too.
“Then fight for this,” the prime minister said, adding that there are different approaches to integration in Belarus and it is important for the voice in favour of integration to be heard.
“But with all the difficulties that arise from time to time in the economic sphere or the energy sector, for example with gas, we should give credit to the present leadership of the republic and [Belarusian President] Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko who has been consistently moving along the road of integration with Russia,” Putin said.