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22 May 2023, 12:58

Belarus, Russia to phase out cabotage transportation restrictions

Dmitry Krutoi
Dmitry Krutoi

MINSK, 22 May (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia will gradually settle issues of cabotage transportation in Russia, Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Dmitry Krutoi told the media following the meeting with the head of state in Minsk on 22 May, BelTA has learned

Touching upon the topic of cooperation with Russia in transport and logistics the ambassador said: "Two important framework agreements have already been signed at the ministerial level [between the two countries]. They have been submitted to the governments and will be ratified soon.”

Cabotage transportation, he said, will be allowed, but not at once, in phases. "Investment cabotage, when Belarus can transport construction materials within the framework of ongoing construction projects, will be allowed immediately. This was the agreement in principle between the presidents," Ambassador Dmitry Krutoi explained. "The usual cabotage, when our carrier, for example, transports Belarusian cargo to the Far East and on the way back makes some more transportation between Russian cities, will be allowed from next year."

Plans are in place to gradually introduce a permit-free system of transportation to third countries through the territory of Russia, in another words, to abolish the so-called permits that Belarus has to obtain in Russia. "Depending on the group of countries (whether it is the European Union, the Balkans and so on), this will be phased out by 2030," the ambassador informed.

The transport ministries of the two countries are keeping an eye on the interdepartmental agreement on the nomenclature and annual volumes of Belarusian cargo transported by rail and in transit or to ports. A list of 20 Russian ports where Belarusian goods will be delivered has been determined. “This agreement is monitored monthly. Our two ministers are analyzing weak and strong points. This work is new, the volumes are large, around 20 million tonnes of cargo of all types (from petroleum products to timber). We are building and fine-tuning this system. The Belarusian president wants us to finalize all issues by the end of the year."

Ambassador Dmitry Krutoi also touched on exports through Russian ports. Belarus uses the ports not only in the north-west of Russia (Bronka, the Big Port of St. Petersburg) but also in Murmansk, in the south. "In terms of the North-South corridor, which the Russian president has talked about a lot lately, our leader urged us to step up the work within the framework of this corridor, which will be one of the most important ones in our region in five years," the head of the diplomatic mission said.

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