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02 June 2022, 19:11

Belarus, Russia's Leningrad Oblast explore new opportunities amid sanctions

MINSK, 2 June (BelTA) – Belarus and Leningrad Oblast are intent on exploring new opportunities, which are opening up in the current situation brought about by the pressure of Western sanctions. First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Nikolai Snopkov made the statement at a session of the joint commission on advancing cooperation between Belarus and Russia's Leningrad Oblast, BelTA has learned.

Nikolai Snopkov said: “The presence of high-ranking officials in the delegation testifies to the interest in advancing cooperation with Belarus across the board. In 2021 trade turnover exceeded $700 million, roughly 30% up from 2020. We saw a 30% increase in Q1 2022, too. The natural advancement of cooperation is slightly intensified by the current situation. Nevertheless, I believe that the potential of our bilateral interaction has not been fully explored. We should use the opportunities the situation has opened up before us.”

The official mentioned prospects of advancing cooperation in the manufacturing sector, including shipments of passenger vehicles, road construction machines, and municipal vehicles. He also mentioned prospects of advancing cooperation in the spheres of agriculture, civil engineering, and the realization of infrastructure projects. Close attention will be paid to expanding interaction in science, education, sport, tourism, and the preservation of historical memory.

Nikolai Snopkov
Nikolai Snopkov
Governor of Russia
Governor of Russia's Leningrad Oblast Aleksandr Drozdenko

Nikolai Snopkov stressed that it is necessary to define additional growth points and work out concrete arrangements. “We need ‘hot lists' of mutual shipments, which will compensate for the lost merchandise from unfriendly countries. I think that, first of all, we should promptly and properly determine these hot lists, volumes and timings of mutual deliveries, flesh out avenues of cooperation based on that with regard to the competences, which are well-developed in our territories,” he remarked.

In the last ten years Belarus' trade with Leningrad Oblast rose by 1.8 times. Belarus' merchandise export went up by 1.9 times in this period.

In 2021 trade turnover reached a record high of $710.4 million, 35.4% up from 2020. Belarus' export reached a record high of $336.6 million, 37.3% up. Export relied primarily on supplies of specific products, hot-rolled non-alloy steel bars, aluminum bars and profiles, uncombed synthetic fibers, ferrous metal structures, cement, furniture and its parts, fiberboard, men's clothing, meat and edible poultry byproducts.

In January-March 2022 trade totaled $159.3 million, 29.5% up from Q1 2021. Belarus' export amounted to $71.9 million, 34.1% up.

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