Union State

The Union State,[lower-alpha 1] also referred to as the Union State of Russia and Belarus,[lower-alpha 2] not to be confused with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, is an organization consisting of Russia and Belarus that was formed on the 8th of December 1999.[4][5] The Union State was originally aimed at uniting both countries, and as such, the Union State in its planned final form would be structured similarly to confederations or political unions. However, both countries still preserve their independence currently.[6] The Union State is based on a previous international treaty between Russia and Belarus[7] made on 2 April 1997.[8] Although it consists of only Russia and Belarus, other countries are allowed to join the Union State.[5] The supranational union is ruled through the Supreme State Council[9] and other governing bodies.[10] The current president of the Supreme State Council of the Union is Alexander Lukashenko, who has held the position since 2000.[11]

Union State
  • Союзное государство (Russian)
  • Саюзная дзяржава (Belarusian)
Headquarters8/5 Staraya Square, Entrance 3, 103132 Moscow, Russia[1]
Largest cityMoscow
55°45′N 37°37′E
Official languages
TypeInternational organisation
Member states
Leaders
 Chairman of the Supreme State Council
Alexander Lukashenko
 Chairman of the Council of Ministers
Mikhail Mishustin
 General Secretary
Dmitry Mezentsev[2]
LegislatureSupreme State Council
Formation
26 December 1991
 Commonwealth of Belarus and Russia
2 April 1996
 Treaty on the Creation of a Union State of Russia and Belarus
8 December 1999
Area
 Total
17,305,841 km2 (6,681,823 sq mi)a
Population
 2021 estimate
158,000,000a
 Density
8.88/km2 (23.0/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2021 estimate
 Total
$4.6 trillion[3]
GDP (nominal)2021 estimate
 Total
$1.8 trillion[3]
Currency
Time zoneUTC+2 to +12
Date formatdd.mm.yyyy
Driving sideright
Website
www.soyuz.by
  1. ^ Combined Belarus and Russian numbers, excluding annexed Crimea in March 2014 that is not recognized internationally.

The present goals of the Union State mostly focus on economic integration.[12] Other areas and issues, such as political integration, were put on hold due to the political situation in the member-states. Talks held in Moscow saw the member-states agree that further integration would proceed while there are some more issues that need to be resolved. 26-27 integration roadmaps on the government level were agreed on. The talks identified the biggest issue plaguing member-states as problems regarding taxation.[13] Work on integration in defense areas and intelligence is said to be going well.[14]