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Ambassador highlights imbalances in Belarus-Russia trade

Economy 20.11.2019 | 14:06
An archive photo
An archive photo

MOSCOW, 20 November (BelTA) – Ambassador of Belarus to Russia Vladimir Semashko pointed to imbalances in Belarus-Russia trade and obstacles to Belarus' exports to Russia as he spoke at the media forum “The Union State 2030 – Trajectory of the Future” in Moscow on 20 November, BelTA has learned.

To illustrate his point, Vladimir Semashko cited a couple of figures. In 2000, a year after the Union State Treaty was signed, Belarus' trade deficit with Russia was $1.9 billion. The diplomat attributed it to the purchase of energy resources from Russia. “There is no escaping it; I guess the trade deficit will remain, however its amount can vary,” he said. In 2018 the trade deficit rose five times up to $9.7 billion. “What does it mean? It means that Belarus, a small country, has to turn to third countries – the European Union and elsewhere – to make up for the $9.7 billion trade deficit it slipped into by purchasing energy resources from our ally, partner. We handle it somehow, but please, understand that $9.7 billion is a huge sum taking into account that our GDP stands at $80 billion,” the ambassador underlined.

“Another set of figures. Let's take the year 2018 again. Some say that it was a good year, we performed well, our mutual trade rose by 9.4%, three times more than the world's average, they said. But what made it possible? Russia's export to Belarus rose by 15.4%, while Belarus' export to Russia inched up by merely 0.4%. It means that the small country of Belarus is absolutely open to Russian manufacturers, which is natural, there are no obstacles for them. However, we face issues with our supplies to the Russian market,” Vladimir Semashko said.

He noted that nearly a year ago the two presidents gave instructions to come to grips with this situation. “The task was to take stock of what was done and not done, what was relevant and irrelevant. That program was to be updated taking into consideration various challenges without making any amendments to the Union State Treaty,” the ambassador said.

The media forum “The Union State 2030 – Trajectory of the Future” is taking place in Moscow on 20-21 November. It has been organized by the Standing Committee of the Belarus-Russia Union State. The forum has brought together experts, political scientists, sociologists, heads of mass media outlets, and representatives of technological clusters, research institutes, and youth organizations from Belarus and Russia. The first day of the forum deals with potential development models of the Union State. Journalists and public relations specialists discuss integration information strategies. The program of the second day includes the sessions “Innovative Technology to Achieve the Union State Goals” and “Humanitarian Cooperation – Territory of the Youth”. The forum also features a special session dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

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