Belarus has wanted closer economic ties with other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in the past and still wants them now, the Belarusian prime minister said.
"The tone and intensity of Belarusian integration aspirations remains unchanged and will remain unchanged. Integration has been a foreign policy priority for us and will remain so," Andrei Kobyakov said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which opened on Thursday.
"It is not a tribute to any fashion but a hard reality, a hard objective need, because our economy can be called the most open of all the CIS countries present here," Kobyakov said.
"At the end of the day, it would be extremely difficult for us to achieve any success in economic development without integration," he said.