Problems remain in Russia, Belarus Union formation - Borodin

SOCHI, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - The state secretary of the Russia-Belarus Union said Saturday that problems remained in the formation of the Union.

Pavel Borodin said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the problems were mainly connected with the implementation of four agreements signed by presidents of Russia and Belarus in January this year in St. Petersburg.

The Russian and Belarusian presidents signed on January 24 agreements on issues of the countries' union property and on equal rights of citizens to move freely on the territory of both countries.

Borodin said one of the topical problems was the implementation of the agreement, which regulated the union state's property.

He said the requirements stipulated by the agreement "unfortunately, were not fulfilled by Belarus."

The agreement regulates the property issues in the format of the union state and ensures equal rights of Russian and Belarusian citizens on free movement and the choice of residence in the territory of both countries.

In particular, it envisions that citizens of one country may spend 30 days in the territory of the other country without registering with local authorities.

Borodin also thanked the Russian president for the budget of the Union State, which increased in 2006 to over 4 billion rubles (about $150 million).

Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko signed a treaty on the formation of the Russia-Belarus Union State in December 1999.

The treaty was designed to become an efficient instrument for restoring the common political, economic, legal, defense and humanitarian space of the two peoples.