At the opening ceremony of the XVII International Arts Forum “Slavyanskiy Bazaar in Vitebsk” the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko expressed confidence of the fact that “the festival in Vitebsk will become an unforgettable event for a million of people”. Now, when the festival is over, it is safe to say that it was really so. The festival has brought “Slavyanskiy bazaar” up to a new standard. It was the first time that the concert dedicated to the Day of the Union State took place in Vitebsk while the Day of the Union State itself was celebrated for the fifth time.
“Participation in “Slavyanskiy bazaar” is a “trademark” for every artist and for all of us – a celebration of brotherhood as well as prospects for the Union State,” believes Alexander Avdeev, Russian Minister of Culture. In his opinion, thanks to the festival today Vitebsk is “the centre of Slavonic cultural development” and is becoming “one of the cultural capitals of Europe”.
However, it should be noted that the festival will stay in our memory not only thanks to cultural events, brilliant concerts and breathtaking music contests as far as a lot of attention was paid to political and economic policy of the Union State as well.
The evidence to the fact that “Slavyanskiy bazaar” is not only an arts forum but also a symbolic event in the Union State’s life was the level of the Russian delegation which had never been so high before. This year Sergey Naryshkin, Head of Administration of the Russian President; Alexander Avdeev, Minister of Culture; Pavel Borodin, State Secretary of the Union State; Sergey Stepashin, President of the Chamber of Accounts; deputies of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State and representatives of the Standing Committee of the Union State visited Vitebsk.
“The best confirmation of the fact that we are a single nation is the participation in a wonderful common festive occasion called “Slavyanskiy bazaar”,” said State Secretary of the Union State Pavel Borodin. At the same time he noted that “we don’t need integration for its own sake. The task is not just to reunite our nations but to ensure faster processes in economy and social sphere”.
Pavel Borodin’s opinion was shared by Anatoliy Lokot, member of the Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Economic Policy: “We, officials, owe our nations as we can’t pass the laws which will enable the Union State to develop even more dynamically”. The parliamentarian stated that “economic and financial progress of the Union between Belarus and Russia is obvious”, yet it is important that “the quantity should be transformed into quality, that is the Constitutional Act is to be approved”.
The necessity to pass the Constitutional Act was also confirmed by Pavel Borodin who stressed that the absence of this document as well as of an agreement on the two countries’ property “are the most hard-to-solve problems”. “I really hope that already this year the final documents on legitimization of the Union will be signed as without them we can’t develop and replenish the budget of the Union State in a more productive way than we are doing it now,” he summarized. The State Secretary said that “making no headway is insulting brotherly nations longing for consolidation”. “Strategically important position of Belarus in the centre of Europe conditions both geopolitical and economic interest of Russia,” stated Pavel Borodin.