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25 November 2021, 17:06

Belarus' PM names promising avenues of cooperation with SCO

MINSK, 25 November (BelTA) – Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko outlined cooperation prospects with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization at the videoconference session of the SCO Heads of Government Council on 25 November, BelTA has learned.

“The establishment of the organization's own financial mechanisms - the SCO Development Bank and Development Fund - is still very relevant. This will allow all parties to receive additional funding and boost their sovereign and sustainable economic growth. The long-discussed possibility of creating a SCO common market and a free trade zone holds a lot of promise. At the SCO Heads of State Council meeting, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko called for switching to national currencies in mutual settlements within the SCO. I am sure that this matter deserves a most careful consideration,” Roman Golovchenko said.

The prime minister noted that the international community pays more and more attention to environmental issues, global warming and depletion of natural resources. Thus, today the use of resource-saving and environmentally friendly technologies is relevant like never before. “Being committed to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, Belarus welcomes the adoption of the SCO Green Belt Programme. By building and launching its nuclear power plant that meets all modern safety requirements, the country contributes to the transition to clean energy by supplying electricity not only to domestic users, but also to the neighboring states. We also support the idea of ​​developing a system of international centers providing nuclear fuel cycle services, which would combine the technical potential of the leading nuclear powers with the capabilities of states with vast uranium ore reserves. This will strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime, increase the level of energy security, make the IAEA more efficient and, undoubtedly, will be of interest for the countries planning nuclear energy programs," he said.

Roman Golovchenko also urged to tap into the SCO's transit potential to promote the post-Covid revival of economies, to advance trade and economic ties in the SCO, and access the markets of other regions. According to him, rail transportation demonstrated particular resistance to the pandemic restrictions. More than 90% of all rail transportation from China to Europe and in the opposite direction goes via Belarus. "To build up the capacity of rail transportation, we, together with foreign partners, have been upgrading the rail infrastructure, setting up modern logistics centers, making the transportation of goods through Belarus attractive and efficient. Belarus was one of the first to sign an agreement between the governments of the SCO member states to create the favorable conditions for international road transport. We are ready to contribute to the practical implementation of the New Eurasian Land Bridge initiative, the development of a modern land transport corridor from China to Europe through the territory of the Central Asian states, Russia and Belarus. This will ensure high-speed delivery and safety of goods, and also effective redistribution of logistics flows," the prime minister emphasized.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an international organization established in 2001. Belarus has an observer status at the SCO.

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