"Belarus and Russia are the same thing": How do people live in Union State?

"Belarus and Russia are the same thing": How do people live in Union State?

A cup of tea really unites people. How are Belarusians and Russians united by the Union State? Our correspondent Yulia Beshanova will tell us about Russians' life in Belarus, their impressions and aspirations.

Yulia Beshanova, correspondent: 
All Slavic peoples love birch. It is actually an unofficial symbol of Russia and Belarus. For the past 25 years, the countries have been building the Union State. This is a common territory on which, like in this birch grove, you feel like home on both sides of the border.  

Resident of Russian Langepas Leonid Podrez reflects on the absence of boundaries lying in a hospital bed in Belarus. A native of Belarus, he has been a Russian citizen for about 25 years. He came to Vitebsk to visit his relatives and fell helping around the house. Doctors said he had a serious fracture.

Leonid Podrez, patient of Vitebsk City Clinical Emergency Hospital:
Ambulance arrived and took me here. In the emergency room and then by evening I was in the ward. I've been here for 8 days. Treatment is the same as in Russia. Russia and Belarus is the same thing, I swear! Attitude is good and people are kind.

Belarusians in Russia and Russians in Belarus get free emergency medical help. However, Russians are completely satisfied even with planned paid treatment.     

Alla Melnik from Moscow has come to this resort several times. She says such treatment and rehabilitation is a good alternative to holidays near sea.

Alla Melnik, holidaymaker (Moscow): 
We can compare it with sea, it is quite acceptable. Treatment is good and everything else is also fine. Of course, Belarus wins, because it is cheaper to stay here. I visited a hospital in Israel and in China and of course it is 2.5 times cheaper to receive treatment in Belarus.

Konstantin Kovalchuk can only dream about vacation. The fitter has recently returned to Brest from Kaliningrad, where Belarusians are helping Russia build the football stadium for the 2018 World Cup. Mutual exchange of specialists would be nice, Konstantin admits.

Konstantin Kovalchuk, fitter:
In terms of organization of work that was all right - we lived in a hostel. Showers and canteens were there too. There was even a canteen at the stadium itself. I would like travels through the Polish border to be simplified, because procedures are very long.  

This is the Belarusian-Russian University, the real source of staff of the Union State. Educational standards of the two countries at once are used here. With these diplomas, specialists are in great demand both in Russia and in Belarus. Vladimir Dalimaev is just beginning to learn his future occupation. The young man lives 1,200 km away from Mogilev - in Cherepovets. 

Vladimir Dalimaev, student of Belarusian-Russian University:
Mogilev is a beautiful city, it is very clean, and people are very kind and polite. I was very much attracted by the fact that my diploma will be recognized both in Belarus and Russia.

Despite the almost uniform Belarusian-Russian educational space, there are still nuances. Entrants complain about too big difference between the Russian and Belarusian entrance tests.

Integration of Belarusian and Russian science long ago stopped to be the future prospect. The two nations have implemented dozens of successful projects. Belarusian machinery is used in Russia widely. Belarus sells not only vehicles: it also provides full production cycle, from soil processing to crop packing. This company sold to Russia products worth nearly $6.5 million in 2015.

Sergey Yakovchik, Director General of the Scientific and Practical Center for Agricultural Mechanization of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus:
This machinery works in almost all regions of the Russian Federation, from Smolensk Oblast to Sakhalin. It has proved its worth. It is of high quality, high performance and is better than all existing foreign analogues. In addition, many Belarusian developments (those of the Scientific and Practical Center) are used in cultivation and seeding these days.  

Almost 1,000 participants of the Third Forum of Regions are planning to make sure they are on the same page. The agenda includes harmonization of laws in the social sphere. However, single social space does not begin in high offices. Residents of the two countries vote for the common "Union State house" with joint projects, international diplomas and even common history.