The spirit and atmosphere of friendship cannot be replaced by any digital practices - Rossiyskaya Gazeta

What is the agenda of the current media expert seminar dictated by?

Dmitry Mezentsev: We talked about how important it is to build relationships between representatives of media communities in partnership, forming a virtually unified information space. This does not mean at all that someone will dictate the media agenda to someone, but it means that we will be able to talk much more effectively about the new stage of economic integration, which is a consequence of the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, adopted at meeting of the Supreme State Council on November 4. Today we are talking about the threats that exist, including with the advent of new digital technologies, to those people who use these technologies. And this is also the basis for us in understanding how perfect the national legislation of Belarus and Russia should be, including the law enforcement practice under the auspices of the federal and republican governments.

And, of course, today we think that we should be more open and talk about rapprochement between Belarus and Russia, first of all on the economic integration agenda, but not forgetting the cultural, educational, humanitarian components with the invitation to this conversation of the heads of the republican ministries and departments. It is on their shoulders that the responsibility for the success of integration falls, it is on interregional cooperation that in many respects the close interaction in favor of an increasing number of orders to Belarusian and Russian enterprises depends, in favor of expanding supplies to the huge single market of the Union State. And this, in turn, gives people confidence in the future, earnings, prosperity and gives them the right to form their plans for the present day and tomorrow.

What threats exist today in the information field for the Union State?

Dmitry Mezentsev: We can see that pressure, including economic and sanctions, is growing on Russia and Belarus. Accordingly, this pressure does not occur by itself, it is accompanied by information pressure, obvious information phantoms that are created in relation to the actions of Russia and Belarus. They concern, among other things, retaliatory measures, which we cannot but agree to. Moreover, taking into account the situation that has developed in recent days on the Belarusian-Polish border. You see that the national leader of Russia Vladimir Putin, in a conversation with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, has repeatedly emphasized that despite the fact that formally it is not a problem for Russia, Russia is providing assistance and support in resolving this conflict. This is an obvious fact.

At a recent meeting of the Supreme State Council, the creation of a union media holding was discussed. How will the idea be realized?

Dmitry Mezentsev: This is no longer an idea, this is a specific instruction, including to the Standing Committee. We will be very attentive to the proposals of the professional communities – the unions of journalists of Belarus and Russia, to those people who have formed a single media union agenda all these years. It is clear that we will build a media holding based on the most modern digital development practices. While not forgetting that the spirit and atmosphere of friendship, camaraderie are not replaced by any digital practices. We will strive for this.

And what is the prospect that Russian and Belarusian journalists will cease to be representatives of foreign media for each other?

Dmitry Mezentsev: Today we are talking about the unity of rights for the citizens of Belarus and Russia. About the fact that if a Belarusian and a Russian have different passports, then the set of social rights is absolutely the same. This is what makes us move as quickly as possible to ensure that Russian and Belarusian journalists actually become journalists of the Union State. And they did not experience bureaucratic obstacles, which today they are forced to go within the framework of the formal difference in legislation, seeking, for example, journalistic accreditation.

On December 2, the visit of the Chairman of the State Duma of Russia Vyacheslav Volodin to Minsk is scheduled. There will be a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union. Do you think it’s time to raise the status of this union body?

Dmitry Mezentsev: The status of the Parliamentary Assembly is very high. There is an opportunity to invite ministers, heads of governments, representatives of real sectors of the economy to your rostrum. I am absolutely convinced that at this stage the Meeting will show an even closer interaction. Including on the formation of proposals that can become the basis for new union programs.

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