MINSK, 11 August (BelTA) – Belarus has decided in favor of creating port facilities in Russia's northwest. Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko made the statement after the conference hosted by the head of state to discuss the creation of port facilities for exporting Belarusian products, BelTA has learned.
Roman Golovchenko said: “We understand it is necessary to transship large volumes. It is true for all kinds of cargoes including mineral fertilizers, timber, wheeled cargoes, and containers. This is why the president was offered several variants for further development of our own facilities. A decision has been made on one of them. It will be realized soon in the northwestern region of the Russian Federation.”
At the same time the prime minister did not disclose in what port and for how long the project will be implemented and how much it will cost for Belarus. “Let's seal the deal first and reveal all the details later,” he explained. “But the project will start working very soon. Definitely by the end of the year.”
As for additional locations, these options will be considered bearing in mind economic advisability and the necessary investments. “A lot will have to be invested in infrastructure, this is why we have to think about how it will reflect on the economy in current conditions,” Roman Golovchenko said.
Belarus now cooperates with nine Russian ports on different seas. Special rates are in effect and they benefit both sides. “We shipped less than one percent of our volumes via Russian ports last year. In January-June 2022 we shipped an extra two million tonnes of various cargoes via Russian ports. It is a good gain for Russian cargo shippers, too. This is why we are moving on in this direction,” the head of government added.
BelTA reported earlier that on 11 August Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko hosted a conference to discuss the creation of port facilities for exporting Belarusian goods. According to the president, Belarus now has a good opportunity to create its own port infrastructure. “We have been dreaming about it for a long time. The Russian Federation has opened doors for us at all levels. At least there are no obstacles to it on the part of the president of Russia, with whom I have been negotiating these matters. There are no hindrances. There is exceptional support. I would like to hear whether it is so on your level today,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“We do not have time to wait for some infrastructure to be built in some port. Today we are talking primarily about the north-western region of the Russian Federation. The Russian president showed me all the ports in and around St Petersburg and suggested choosing any area. I told him that we needed to ship our goods immediately. He suggested choosing any point and starting to ship. This is why I often speak figuratively that we will ship in sacks as we build [the infrastructure]. Naturally one cannot ship 12 million tonnes and more in sacks. But nevertheless, it means that today we should use virtually every spare square meter of Russian ports to load our cargoes,” the Belarusian leader stressed.