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The Russia-Belarus Union State increased its 2006 draft budget by 17% year-on-year to more than 3 billion Russian rubles
The Russia-Belarus Union State increased its 2006 draft budget by 17% year-on-year to more than 3 billion Russian rubles (about $106 million), a senior Belarusian parliament member said Wednesday. Vladimir Konoplyov, the chairman of the lower house of Belarus' parliament, said Russia and Belarus were consolidating their union and, therefore, increasing the union's budget. He said the draft budget provided for the financing of about 40 union programs. According to Konoplyov, the union budget will allocate 30% to industry and energy projects, about 12% to anti-terrorist efforts and the strengthening of the union's borders and more than 12% to social policy and cultural events. Konoplyov said experts from the two countries were currently studying amendments to the draft constitution of the union state prepared by Russia in October 2005 and that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Russia-Belarus Union State would discuss the preparation of the draft Constitution Act at its 29th session Friday. Russia and Belarus announced their plans to establish a union state several years ago, but have failed so far to edge closer to their integration largely due to disagreements over the division of powers. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he was against turning Belarus into another province of Russia. The plans of introducing the Russian ruble in the republic as a single currency have also not been realized.
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